The Bureau of Land Management Idaho Falls District transferred a surplus wildland fire engine to the Central Fire Department this last week, part of BLM’s effort to respond to rural wildland fires by giving excess equipment and supplies to local fire departments and Rangeland Fire Protection Associations.
Under BLM’s new Rural Fire Readiness program, local fire departments and Rangeland Fire Protection Associations that meet certain requirements may receive at no cost wildland fire engines, pumps, hose, chainsaws, hand tools and other items the BLM no longer needs.
“The assistance we receive from our local fire departments and Rangeland Fire Protection Associations is vital to the success of fighting wildland fire in eastern Idaho,” said Joel Gosswiller, BLM Fire Management Officer, Idaho Falls District. “The utilization of the Rural Fire Readiness program gives us the ability to provide additional support in safely responding to wildland fires.”
The Central Fire Department has assisted on several wildland fires over the years, most notably the numerous fires in the Menan Butte area.
“We appreciate the Rural Fire Readiness program and how it helps both BLM and Central Fire respond to wildfires,” said Carl Anderson, Central Fire District Chief. “It will also enable us to help our adjacent county fire districts. We will be able to send more trucks to assist our neighbors and local associations that we support.”
This is the second engine the Idaho Falls District has transferred this month. Last week the Hamer fire department received a Type 4 engine that was already put to use in the suppression of the 64 acre Radar Hill fire that started on July 6, 2019.
So far this year Eastern Idaho Interagency Fire resources have responded to 16 fires that have burned 10,324 acres.
The BLM works closely with other federal and state agencies, local fire departments and Rangeland Fire Protection Associations to respond to wildland fires.