The Boise Fire Department’s mission is to empower our team members with a positive, engaging and professionally challenging environment, and provide them with the standards, infrastructure and training needed for superior service to our community.
Vision Statement: Our contribution to making Boise the most livable city in the country is to become the nation’s premier fire department. Through innovative leadership, we set the standard of excellence for superior prevention and response.
Boise Fire Department serves a population of nearly 250,000 residents in Idaho’s largest city. Emergency response services are delivered from 17 fire stations located throughout the city in a 130+ square mile response area. The department employs nearly 300 full time Union and City employees within the three divisions: Administration, Operations and Fire Prevention. The Department has an annual operating budget of $45M and a capital budget in excess of $4M.
The Boise area is predominately comprised of a sagebrush steppe ecosystem, with a significant wildland-urban interface component. Fire adapted communities concepts have become integral to City of Boise interdepartmental planning and operations, and this effort extends, in part, to adjacent communities such as the cities of Eagle, Star, Kuna and Meridian, as well as other public and private stakeholders.
Citizen Fuel Reduction Policy
The City of Boise Wildfire Mitigation Team (WMT) put together a policy to provide homeowners', whose properties abut City of Boise managed open space, safe guidelines, and the authority to mitigate flammable grasses 20' into these open spaces. We provide free permits to homeowners' that make an online request to reduce fuels behind their properties. This policy went into effect October 1st, 2017, with an online link to the policy, and online permit application, at our site www.adafireadapted.org . We have also produced a high quality training video to homeowners to properly train them to safely and effectively mitigate their risk, which is also located on this site. Several homeowners have actively taken part in this new opportunity and have effectively reduced fuel loading around their homes. We have also had a neighborhood association of 1400+ homes take our policy and modify it for their use, working with residents to mitigate fuels behind their properties in Owners' Association managed open space.
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Free Woody Biomass Pickup
As grant funding for neighborhood chipping has dwindled over the last couple of years, we have found a new and creative way to deal with removing hazardous vegetation from neighborhoods. Our City of Boise Wildfire Mitigation Team, is comprised of individuals from 4 separate departments, Fire, Parks, Planning & Development Services, and Public Works. Public Works started a new residential composting program in 2017, which includes unlimited curbside pickup of lawn clippings, leaf debris, tree trimmings, etc.... As part of this program, they get a ton (literally) of green biomass during the summer months (lawn clippings), and they desperately need a large amount of woody biomass to offset this green biomass during these months. Our team would like to see homeowners removing larger and more hazardous vegetation in these wildfire prone areas, so our team came up with a solution that helps everyone. Public works has agreed to place 30 cu. ft. roll-offs in targeted neighborhoods in the WUI, place signage on the roll-offs, and then remove the biomass at their cost. Fire and PDS are assisting with marketing this program to neighborhoods in the WUI. We will implement this roll-off woody biomass pickup program in August 2018 and will pull metrics (cu. yards and tons) to keep track of woody debris removal over time.
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Ada Situational Awareness Tool
The Ada Situational Awareness Tool (ASAT) has been being developed over the last two years with numerous area partners and stakeholders. It began with an updated and comprehensive Ada County Wildfire Risk Map in 2015/2016, which included LiDAR and RapidEye acquisitions. We contracted with Intterra to develop ASAT to incorporate the new Riskmap, and provide for situational awareness of the overall risk to certain areas of Ada County. This now includes a wildfire home safety evaluation tool and public portal for homeowners to view their base safety rating, as well as their home's individual "structural safety rating". This portal will be available on www.adafireadapted.org later in 2018. We have conducted several training sessions for homeowner volunteers to conduct online evaluations within their own neighborhoods, as well as training personnel from Ada County Fire agencies to conduct home evaluations within their respective jurisdictions.
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