City Government

Rural Fire Costs $$$ Thanks To Growth

When it comes to fires “threatening structures or lives,” firefighters pull out all the stops and use available resources to protect the assets at risk. Such was the case Tuesday afternoon when a grass and brush fire broke out off South Cole Road.

Boise FD, Kuna FD and the BLM battled a 200 acre fire with the usual compliment of fire engines and firefighters. In addition the BLM made several fire retardant drops from a P-2 bomber and a SEAT (Single Engine Air Tanker, crop duster) and numerous water drops from a helicopter which dipped out of the New York Canal.

Our preliminary research shows the helicpter goes for nearly $1,600 per hour, the SEAT crop dusters cost $2200-2700 per hour, and the command plane above the action eats up $1325 hourly. In addition to the hourly fees, these aircraft also earn an assortment of daily fees, standby, call when needed, etc.

We will offer a follow up later on just who pays for all the extra protection when homes in the foothills, forests, and deserts are annexed into cities. It is a dangerous practice to encourage growth in wild areas and it is fraught with political ramifications.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Several planned communities have been envisioned for the area east of the recent fire, but have yet to be presented.

    Additional facts should be looked at when defining growth. The two subdivisions closest to the reported fire have been on Ada County records for some time.

    Calderon Estates- Platted 1991
    Holly Estates- Platted 1974

    What constitutes growth?

  2. There is an even more costly aspect of sprawl. Cost of city services and other utilities. All of this cost falls to all property owners to pay for street, parks, schools, water, sewer, and other city services that have to be maintained along with police and fire services.

    Urban planning and urban infill need to be looked at and put into practice. Tearing up more desert lands for development makes no sense.

  3. Rod in SE Boise
    Aug 25, 2010, 12:53 pm

    Growth may be a non-issue for quite a number of years. And when it rears it’s ugly head again, there will once again be a lack of concensus on how to deal with it. Chaos reigns supreme.

  4. Yet, in all of his infinite “vision”, we have a mayor who wants future development south east of Boise. Water? Easy-peasy! We just pipe water from the Snake river. All the other infrastructure costs? Don’t worry Be happy!!!!!! When a fire starts out there and the wind blows, it takes a helluva lot of manpower, machinery and money to stop it. Don’t worry about the costs, it’s all about the tax base!

  5. What Growth? When? The free money train for those who should not own a home has derailed. Many many empty homes to be filled before the expansion starts again. So in other words our growth has moved to China with our core economy.

    You are right about the cost. Soon the fire department will stop going to fires because it cost too much to leave the new station on the new truck. Since we tax payers are not going to pay the demanded tax increases, the fires will be let to burn.

  6. Well the guys have to get practice. Back in the “old” days most young men got (had) to fight fires. Else we would have been doomed.

  7. “The ACLU believes that the right to utter unpopular political speech — on terms equal to the right to utter popular political speech — is as fundamental to our American freedoms as any right, whether realized or imagined” … “Idahoans have long stood up for privacy and we applaud the state legislature for standing for our fundamental rights,” … Executive Director of the ACLU of Idaho. ”

    Now, in light of Civil Rights, American Freedoms and Fundamental Rights, one may possibly believe that residents living on and about the Terrace Way cul-de-sac in Boise may reasonably expect their homes be safe from a Fire. And, that ‘landscaping’ attributable to a particular residence not be so negligently maintained as to pose an imminent fire danger due to significant quantities of dry fuel with a Defensible Space measured not in feet, but rather in inches, from the particular residence in question.

    Turning to the definition of Defensible Space: a natural or man-made area where material capable of allowing a fire to spread has been treated, cleared or modified to slow an advancing wildfire and to create an area where firefighting can occur. Read more:

    These are but a few of recent incidents in Boise involving fires:
    Jul 28, 2010 … EAGLE, Idaho – Four homes and several outside structures have been destroyed due to a massive grass fire in Eagle on Wednesday. > Aug 26, 2008 … A wind-whipped blaze was burning out of control in a Boise subdivision Monday night and reportedly had burned up to 10 homes. > Aug 21, 2010 … Winds that dropped trees and powerlines apparently sparked several fires on the Boise Bench Saturday night. > Aug 25, 2010 … Bureau of Land Management fire crews put out a 5-acre grass fire off Rocky Canyon Road just northeast of Boise earlier Wednesday.

    In conclusion, what are the ACLU’s thoughts on rights of residents that do not wish their homes be destroyed by fire, particularly by a fire that may be prevented?

    EDITOR NOTE–This doesn’t sound like it has anything to do with ACLU. Try notifying Boise Code Enforcement and cite the city code 7-01-21. HEre is the link

  8. I think we need make ‘sprawl’ a verb, and use it separately from growth. Growth isn’t bad, as long as it is planned correctly.

  9. I completely agree Jake. The problem is it will take a 180 degree turn in current practices to accomplish!

  10. Nice Picture,

    Nothing quite like the sound of a Wright 3350 TurboCompounded radial engine. I do love it so…

    I just wish they could be running the highpower gasoline from years gone by, so we could hear them cranking out the power as their engineers had intended.

  11. Sometimes I think about what I’d do if I ruled the world. 180 degrees pretty much sums it up. Politicos, use your BRAINS! Make the smart decision. That’s what your job revolves around.

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