Boise Fire Department
News Release

Dennis Doan
Boise Fire Chief

Contact: Char Jackson
(208) 570-6548


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Boise River “Dangerous Condition” In Effect

In coordination with City of Boise Parks and Recreation, Boise Police, and Ada County Parks and Waterways, Boise Fire Department has posted the “Dangerous River Condition” for the Boise River. 

Current water flows exceed 8,000cfs making conditions in the river extremely dangerous to people and pets.  Our greatest concern is for public safety and first responder safety.

The following hazards warrant the “Dangerous River Condition”:

  • Swift water can carry people & pets away rapidly.
  • Cold water can cause even the best swimmer to be incapable of swimming due to loss of motor control/muscle control.
  • Significant debris in the river can injure people and contributes to rescue equipment failure.
  • Flooding conditions make access to river more dangerous if not impossible.
  • Water has approached bridge height making passing under a bridge extremely dangerous or not possible.


  • Do not recreate in the river; very cold swift water is life threatening.
  • Keep pets leashed near the river, they may chase other animals/wildlife into the swift water.
  • Portions of the Greenbelt have detours or closures posted due to high water. Check with Boise Parks for the latest Greenbelt information.
  • If someone gets into trouble call 9-1-1 immediately. The 9-1-1 Dispatcher needs to know how many people are in the water and where they are at; closest street, bridge crossing, what park they are in, what side of the river they are on, Greenbelt Mile Marker etc.

Background Information:

According to the Public Safety Emergency Response Cost Recovery Ordinance Section 7-02-01 through 7- 02-07, Boise City may impose a charge to recover costs incurred by the City for responding to a rescue on the river.

7-02-02 States: “Rescue emergency means a public safety or fire emergency incident resulting from a person or persons knowingly entering any area that has been closed to the public by competent authority for any reason, where such closure is posted by sign, barricade, or other device, and an emergency response such as a search for or rescue of such person results from the entry. For example, a rescue emergency would arise when the Boise River is flowing at a cubic foot per second level such that an authorized State, County, or City official declares the river closed to floating or rafting, the entry points are signed or otherwise posted as closed, and a person ignores the closure and a search and/or rescue results from the entry.”