Beaver Creek Fire Impacts Area Fire Department Budgets


By Brandon Redmond

Hailey, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Fire Chief Bart Lassman is sorting through the bills that are still pouring in following the large and destructive beaver creek fire. Firefighters only lost one home in the fire. But the cost of thousands of manpower hours and hundreds of fire trucks is adding up quick.

"It's our job when needed to request outside resources from outside of the county," said Rural Wood River District Chief Bart Lassman.

During the height of the Beaver Creek fire over eighteen hundred personnel were battling the blaze. Now Blaine County officials are waiting to see how much of the price tag the state and federal government are going to cover.

"In the time of a wildfire we sit down with agency administrators with the Forest Service, BLM and we work out cost share agreements ahead of time," said Bart Lassman.

Blaine County has also applied for federal grants to help offset the cost of the fire.

"So right now we are working on getting all of the documentation in line for our fire management assistance grant which is through FEMA," said Ketchum Fire Chief Mike Elle.

Fire Officials tell us that you have no reason to worry. If you call 9–1–1 for an emergency, there's still enough money for fire department crews to respond.

"We have no intention nor would we ever not take care of our citizens and the public we serve first for the rest of the year. We're going to take care of that and if we can't pay the bill to the Forest Service, that's ok. We need to take care of our citizens first," said Chief Elle.

The fire may be out but there will continue to be long lasting impacts in the Wood River Valley well into the future.

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