How One Community In Idaho’s Wildland-Urban Interface Deals With Wildfire

Jul 28, 2016

Firefighters attacked the wildfire near Avimor by air and ground.
Credit Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

A brush fire near a housing development in Eagle was attacked quickly by firefighters earlier this week. They were able to battle the spark in part because of fire preventive measures taken by the developers who built the Avimor neighborhood.

Located off Highway 55 at the base of the foothills, Avimor is one of 22 Firewise Idaho communities. Firewise is a kind of certification given to neighborhoods in the wildland-urban interface that take preventive wildfire measures. According to Avimor developer Dan Richter, spending more on more durable building materials and fire conscious landscaping was part of keeping residents safe. 

“But it’s well worth it," says Richter. "I mean we have the beauty of the foothills but we feel much safer because of Firewise than we otherwise would have.”

The developer says Tuesday's fire was the first test of their Firewise building measures. Richter says one of the biggest helps to fire crews was Avimor's man-made pond. Homeowners watched as helicopters scooped water from the pond, which was built with wildfire risk in mind. Fire crews also used roads and access points created and mapped by the development, making it easier to keep the fire danger away from homes.

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

Copyright 2016 Boise State Public Radio