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Fire safety and the changing seasons

 
October 15, 2021

By Chief Brad Lowther
Hall Mountain Volunteer Fire Department

The summer past was a record setter in many respects. We saw fire indices numbers that we have not seen before. Our fire season started early with early spring fires that exhibited fire behavior similar to August or September fires. The drought conditions combined with the heavy fire loads that we have in our forests had us set up for a catastrophic fire season. Once again, however, we slipped through this season without any major fires.

I would like to thank everyone for using caution this summer and helping to prevent wildfires.

With cold weather approaching we will be entering the time when we see most structure fires. Please make sure your heating appliance, be it wood stove, electric, gas or oil furnace, etc., is serviced and ready for use. Please clean and check the integrity of your chimney or find a qualified chimney sweep to do so before the heating season. If using electric heaters make sure there are no flammable materials within three feet and don’t plug them in with extension cords.

Also keep your Christmas tree watered and make sure your tree lights are good condition with no frayed wires.

Please make sure you have working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. If your detectors are battery operated, make sure to change the batteries when we change time in the spring and fall. If anyone needs smoke detectors, please let me or any member of the department know.

The Boundary County Fire Chiefs Association has been working on evacuation procedures and protocols to create a uniform evacuation plan for the whole county. We have adopted a plan that is widely used in California by the CDF rather than reinventing the wheel.

This plan can be used for wildlands fires, hazmat situations, or any other event where evacuation is required. We are confident that the evacuation procedures that we have adopted will serve the county and our district well.

Boundary County Emergency Management has established an emergency public information line. This is a phone number you can call when there is an emergency in the county to receive the most current information.

During an emergency our emergency management director will keep the information line updated with the latest information via a recording. The line can be accessed by thousands of callers simultaneously. The number is 208-696-2626. This number can be called any time and will relieve the Sheriff’s dispatch of a heavy influx of calls so that they can do their job.

In closing I would like to thank all the volunteers; firefighters, EMTs, auxiliary members, board members and dispatchers, and of course those of you who continue to voluntarily support your fire department and make it the greatest fire department in the county. We are proud to be the last truly volunteer fire department in Boundary County.

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