Idaho Land Board member, and state official, gets his Red Card to help visit Idaho fires

Idaho’s Secretary of State focuses on more than just elections
Published: Aug. 5, 2023 at 9:27 PM MDT|Updated: Aug. 5, 2023 at 10:37 PM MDT
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BOISE, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) —Idaho’s secretary of state Phil McGrane is responsible for election results, business services, and government services to name a few.

McGrane’s job also gives him a spot on the Idaho department of lands land board. The board overseas over two million acres of endowment land that produces a profit from lumber to support things like public schools and jails.

One of the other things the Idaho Department of Lands is responsible for is firefighting contracts and their own team of firefighters.

Which now includes McGrane.

“I took the opportunity to go in with all the new recruits this year and go through fire school. So, I went through the entire same process as all the guys who are out working in the field right now fighting some of the fires up in Hayden or up above Ola and get to go work through them.” McGrane said, “I had the opportunity to go up to Idaho City and dig line and put out a practice fire just like the rest of the crew.”

McGrane thought it was important to learn what goes into protecting the endowment land, and what resources they need. It gives him a unique opportunity to see and experience what the men and women who fight fires give up summers to do.

McGrane says, “It’s a huge operation that goes into these fires not just the firefighting itself from the air drops to the ground crews working. Also, to the crews feeding, making sure there’s housing, safety considerations and everything else. So, it’s been great to have the opportunity. One of the things the red card provides me is now I am able to actually go up to and onto a fire.”

He’s already used that card to go out and visit fires in the state as recently as last weekend. And talk to the people who sacrifice so much to protect our states finest resources. McGrane says his priority is to make the profession something people stay in and make a career out of.