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.
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