USA – IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – The Bureau of Land Management is launching a process to transfer excess vehicles, equipment and supplies to local fire departments and Rangeland Fire Protection Associations in Idaho to enhance their wildland firefighting capabilities.
Under BLM’s new Rural Fire Readiness (RFR) program, local wildland firefighting cooperators that meet certain requirements may receive at no cost wildland fire engines, water tenders, radios, pumps, hose, chainsaws, hand tools, personal protective equipment, fire shelters and other items the BLM no longer needs.
“Local fire departments and Rangeland Fire Protection Associations are critical partners of the BLM in wildland firefighting in Idaho,” said Peter J. Ditton, acting BLM Idaho State Director. “We appreciate the opportunity to augment their capability to respond to wildland fires safely and effectively through the Rural Fire Readiness program.”
Each year, an average of 185 wildfires burn approximately 235,000 acres of BLM-administered public lands in Idaho.
The BLM works hand in hand with other federal and state agencies, local fire departments, and Rangeland Fire Protection Associations to respond to wildfires on land under each other’s protection.
To receive wildland firefighting vehicles, equipment and supplies through the RFR program, local fire departments and Rangeland Fire Protection Associations must meet a number of requirements:
1) they must have an existing cooperative fire response agreement with the BLM
2) they must serve a rural community or area
3) they must have wildland fire protection responsibilities;
4) they must be located in the vicinity of, or within, the wildland urban interface and;
5) they must be in close proximity to BLM-administered lands and respond to wildland fires in support of BLM when available and as needed
The BLM is currently accepting applications from local fire departments and Rangeland Fire Protection Associations to receive any available vehicles, equipment and supplies.
The agency expects to complete the initial application and evaluation process in December and to start transferring the excess items to local fire departments and Rangeland Fire Protection Associations prior to next fire season.