Oregon Trail Fire report urges updated fire standards

Oregon Trail Fire report urges updated fire standards

3 December 2008

published by www.idahostatesman.com

USA — Fireproof roofs, siding and decks, sprinkler systems and an aggressive public education program are among the recommendations in a 22-page draft report spurred by the Aug. 25 Oregon Trail Fire in Boise that killed one woman, destroyed 10 homes and heavily damaged nine others.

Just days after the fire, Mayor Dave Bieter and the City Council asked for a report about how the city could avoid a similar disaster in the future.

The report, presented to Bieter and the council at a work session Tuesday, is the first step in looking at city rules and how they should be changed.

Many of the building- and fire-code recommendations are standard in urban areas that have grown near wildland areas, not only in the West but in other areas around the world.

“The mayor and council think it’s very important that we look at the tragedy of the Oregon Trail Fire and try to take the lessons to be learned from that experience,” said Boise spokesman Adam Park.

“We need to arrive at the proper recommendations, proper changes of code, get plenty of voices from the community At the same time, we have to make sure we are protecting our citizens to the best of our ability. We are hopeful these recommendations will accomplish that.”

Park said it’s likely that many of the recommendations will take effect by next year.

However, which recommendations will be adopted will be decided through a series of public meetings, which have not yet been scheduled.

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