U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
|Release Date: 06/09/09|
Preventing Wildfires in the Boise Foothills; City of Boise, Bureau of Land Management and State Farm Insurance Partner on Valuable Research, Education Project
BOISE—On August 25, 2008, a fast-moving wildfire swept across a sagebrush flat in Southeast Boise, burned up a bluff and entered the Oregon Trail Heights subdivision. Ten homes were destroyed and one woman lost her life. Unfortunately, the fire, driven by high winds and dry vegetation, could not be stopped before it engulfed the homes.
Every year, people in the U.S. lose their homes to wildfire. Many homes burn because they lack defensible space, an area around the home that’s been cleared of dense, flammable vegetation. Defensible space can greatly increase a home’s survivability during a wildfire.
Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan says the research and the public education presented by F.I.R.E. Up will be critical to fire prevention planning for the city’s wildland-urban interface.
“Many Boise neighborhoods face a unique and serious threat from wildfire.” said Chief Doan. “Finding out just where the risk is highest, then educating those homeowners on what they can do to help us protect them is going to be very valuable.”
What is F.I.R.E. Up?
This summer, the City of Boise and the BLM, along with State Farm Insurance, have partnered to promote a Field Inquiry Research Education program called F.I.R.E. Up for Summer. F.I.R.E. Up enlists high school students to conduct valuable field research, as well as educate homeowners about how to protect their property from wildfire.
The F.I.R.E. Up program is now in its sixth year. Thanks to Northwest Nazarene University, F.I.R.E. Up allows high school students to earn college credits by collecting data and completing research projects about wildfire. F.I.R.E. Up Research projects help students learn about wildland fire behavior, its effect on natural ecosystems, and what can be done to minimize rural communities’ susceptibility to wildfire. The program also encourages students to get outside, learn about and enjoy Idaho’s beautiful outdoors.
State Farm Insurance became a partner in F.I.R.E. Up in 2008, because the program supports fire safety, youth, and the importance of education.
“State Farm is a strong supporter of service-learning," said Boise State Farm Agent Phil
Drick. "Through the F.I.R.E. Up program, high school students learn important scientific research skills while making their neighborhoods safer at the same time."
Important Dates - Media are welcome and encouraged to attend and cover the following events. Any questions, please direct to Lynn or Jessica.
On June 16 at 10:30 a.m., Mayor Bieter will join the F.I.R.E. Up students and teachers, Boise Fire reps, the BLM and State Farm Insurance in the parking lot at the entrance to Crestline trail, on Claremont drive, in the Boise Heights neighborhood where the students will be conducting their research.
Directions: In Boise, drive north on 8th street, turn right on Brumback, which will turn into Boise Hills Drive. Turn right on West Crestline Dr., which will lead into the Boise Heights neighborhood. West Crestline Dr. will become East Crestline Dr., and will turn into Claremont Dr. The parking lot is located on the right. Please contact Jessica for more information.
After completing their projects, the students will present their findings on Friday, June 26, at Boise City Council Chambers. The presentations will be open to foothills residents, local educators, BLM employees, and anyone interested in the program. The students’ findings may also be used to request grants for improving the Boise foothills’ resistance to wildfire.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, recreational and other activities on BLM-managed land contributed more than $130 billion to the U.S. economy and supported more than 600,000 American jobs. The Bureau is also one of a handful of agencies that collects more revenue than it spends. In FY 2012, nearly $5.7 billion will be generated on lands managed by the BLM, which operates on a $1.1 billion budget. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.
|Last updated: 06-09-2009|
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