Wednesday, June 25, 2014

County adopts wildfire plan update

Commissioners want more involvement in planning process

Express Staff Writer

The Beaver Creek Fire burned one house and threatened many others as it burned more than 110,000 acres of land on the west side of the Wood River Valley last August. Express file photo

    The Blaine County commissioners on Tuesday took a step to become more involved in wildfire prevention planning.
    During a meeting at the county annex building, Wood River Fire & Rescue Chief Bart Lassman presented the two commissioners present—Larry Schoen and Angenie McCleary—with updates to a county Community Wildfire Protection Plan, first adopted by the county in 2004.
    Since then, the plan has been updated four times by a County Fire Working Group, composed of 19 officials from local fire departments, the U.S. Forest Service and the county Building and Emergency Services departments. Lassman said the most recent update is the result of meetings of the group in February and March.
    However, none of the updates had been adopted by county government, and the working group itself had been flying under the commissioners’ radar, a situation that Schoen called “frustrating,” considering the commissioners’ close involvement in other wildfire planning and rehabilitation activities. McCleary said she had been thinking of proposing just such a group, and was glad to find out that it already existed.
    “For the three commissioners to be aware of this plan and to have adopted it seems very valuable,” McCleary said. “Wildfire is one of the major concerns of our community, and I think it’s essential for the commissioners to do anything they can.”

Wildfire is one of the major concerns of our community.”
Angenie McCleary

    McCleary volunteered to attend future meetings as the commissioners’ representative.
    The wildfire protection plan consists of preventive education and hazardous fuels treatments to be undertaken in various residential neighborhoods and on public land. It also lists needed equipment and infrastructure improvements.
    At the top of the list of 16 neighborhoods slated for prevention measures are Heatherlands, Greenhorn, Smiley Creek, Eagle Creek and Elkhorn. Lassman said he had also wanted to promote fire-wise measures in Starweather subdivision, where houses were saved by firefighters last August during the Beaver Creek Fire, but homeowners there had declined to participate.
    “They do want your help when a fire breaks out,” Schoen said.
    “Exactly,” Lassman answered.
    At the top of the list for fuel reductions on federal lands are Bell Mountain, Martin Canyon, Bald Mountain, Deer Creek and west of Little Wood Reservoir Road.
    The list of needed fire-fighting resources includes personal protection equipment, wildland firefighting training and recruitment, collaborative grant applications and additional stations in Sun Valley, Ketchum and Hailey.
Greg Moore:

About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads

 Local Weather 
Search archives:

Copyright © 2020 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.