Emergency Service

Massive Response Stops Wind-fanned Blaze

Boise firefighters responded in force Saturday night to a fire fanned by high winds along the railroad at Kootenai and Federal Way. At least 12 fire aparatus were on the scene with 35-50 firefighters.

Police cordoned off the area which drew a host of onlookers as the flames and smoke lit up the nighttime sky.

It was by far the worst of several blazes that erupted when high winds ripped through the city. Several homes on Pico Street were either damaged or destroyed when the flames torched pine trees and a wooden fence adjoining the vacant field of dry grass.

There were also power outages throughout the city and booth at the Western Idaho Fair were also blown over according to some media reports.

Cable One has been out all day for us, so no previous updates. We talked to the owner of the single home on Pico that actually caught fire. He told the GUARDIAN the fire got into his attic and said it apparently started when an electric transformer exploded, igniting grass and pine trees. Several sheds and carports were either damaged or destroyed as well as wooden fences along the tracks.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Here’s a video of some of the damage at the fair: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRS2JwWYdQc

  2. This fire just points out the necessity of keeping weeds and combustibles down near homes and property. We live in a desert and the low humidity and moisture turn these fuel sources into threats against our homes and property.

    Fire can start a “firestorm” in this area without a lot of help.

  3. sam the sham
    Aug 23, 2010, 1:14 am

    Living across Vista from Vista Village, being able to see the orange glow over the shopping center, I was very happy to have such a great fire department! Yes, the electric was out all night, but that does not compare to loosing one’s home and property.
    Good Job and thank you!

  4. This is like the 4th time a huge, rotten Maple Tree from Plantation Golf Course has fallen down on the power lines and into the road. We constantly lose power, cable, etc. I do not know if Boise City, Garden City, ACHD has authority, but it is past time to order those trees to be cut down. That golf course looked like a war zone yesterday. Huge branches and trees down everywhere.

  5. If a developer built a community in which a bridge washed away every time there was a heavy rain, the government would insist on it being replaced so as to prevent this happening in the future. Electric utilities in towns have had the technology to put lines underground for decades yet no one forces them to do it so every windy day, we get power outs.

    The Cable One outage is also a direct slap in the face. I have had my internet and phone service interrupted at least once a day for almost two weeks. Saturday I got my bill, which did not reveal any decrease due to reduced service. I intend to short them this month to reflect the failure to deliver the service they are billing me for.

  6. @JIMV

    …short them? Won’t they just come after you the next month?
    Their sales pitch is tempting, but your note supplies yet another reason not to go to Cable One.

    Another area where streets are host to dying trees, some of which shed big branches on Sat night and could come all the way down in the next one, is the north end.

  7. sam the sham
    Aug 23, 2010, 3:53 pm

    well James, the trees in what you call a “war zone” are on private property. Having power go out does not pose the same threat as having a bridge go out.
    I think that the city and state are doing a very fine job in cutting down large trees and replacing them with ugly buildings and asphalt as well as selling the public forest to private developers.
    Don’t worry – the reason for the name: City of Trees will be just a part of Boise’s history.
    You might remember the importance of trees when it comes to human life… large trees produce more oxygen than lawn and asphalt put together.

  8. “…short them? Won’t they just come after you the next month?”

    They send the bill, I ignore it and pay them what they are owed. What people forget is that we enter into a legal contract. We pay them an agreed upon amount and they PROVIDE a service. If we stop paying we have broken the contract. If they do not provide the service, they default. This month I am paying all my TV bill, as I did not lose TV, and half my phone and internet bills as they did not provide the service at least half of the days under the contract.

  9. The trees that concern me are about 10 feet away from the pavement on State Street, most likely well within a right of way and within easements for the power line. Those trees need to go. They are rotten and constantly falling down onto State Street.

  10. JIMV: Call them. I have had the same issue for nearly three and a half weeks with little to no internet. I just call them every week to let them know. They’ve been very good about crediting my account each week but you have to let them know.
    Still, I feel that blaming the storm on the outages is a huge cop-out on their part… The storm did not happen three and a half weeks ago, yet huge internet outages did. Hmmm… So frustrating…

  11. The 2600 vicinity of Terrace Way is an area of particular Fire concern. Many residents are concerned as regard the overgrown ‘landscaping’ attributable to a particular residence that apparently poses a serious danger to the entire neighborhood.

    EDITOR NOTE–See previous advice.

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