Boise Fire Department
News Release

Dennis Doan
Boise Fire Chief

Contact: Char Jackson
(208) 570-6548


Friday, May 25, 2018

Boise Fire Dangerous River Condition in Effect

With the holiday weekend upon us and the warmer days of summer coming Boise Fire Department has posted the “Dangerous River Condition” for the Boise River. This will remain in effect until further notice. This posting is in coordination with City of Boise Parks and Recreation, Boise Police, and Ada County Parks and Waterways. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation are increasing flows from Lucky Peak Dam by 1,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) today. Flows will increase to approximately 6,500 cfs by this afternoon making conditions in the river extremely dangerous to people and pets. Although we are not at flood stage (7,000 cfs) Boise Fire wants the public to be aware of the dangers associated with increased Boise River flows, our greatest concern is for the safety of the public and first responders.

These following hazards warrant the “Dangerous River Condition”:

  • Swift water that can carry people and pets away rapidly.
  • Cold water that can cause even the best swimmer to be incapable of swimming due to loss of motor control/muscle control.
  • Debris in the river that can injure people and contributes to rescue equipment failure.
  • If flooding takes place it can make access to river more dangerous if not impossible.  

At this time 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. Please note, a few portions of the Greenbelt managed by the City of Boise are closed due to water over the path. Detours are in place where possible. Click here for the latest Greenbelt information.

If someone gets into trouble call 911 immediately. The 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.”