Land Board gets final fire season report for endowment land

One of the more concerning things this season was the number of human caused fires.
Published: Oct. 20, 2023 at 2:18 PM MDT
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BOISE, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) —The Idaho Department of Lands, Land Board of Commissioners met this week and got a final fire season update.

The Land Board oversees endowment land that the Department of Lands protects and harvests among other things. Harvested lumber goes to support beneficiaries like schools and jails. Protecting the land from fires also benefits taxpayers and future generations.

To date on IDL endowment land 284 fires have been fought during the 2023 fire season.

The suppression expenses were a little over 22 million with over four million being reimbursed for a total cost of 17 million 377 thousand 500 dollars. Some favorable weather conditions helped keep the cost down compared to years past.

Josh Harvey Fire Bureau Chief IDL says, “Fire season 2023 was what we would consider an average year, average number of starts but the number of acres that actually burned was down in our protection especially when you compare it to 2021. The 2021 fire season was a really bad fire season.”

One of the more concerning things this season was the number of human caused fires, 206 during the current fire season. That’s due to more people moving near endowment lands and recreating.

Human caused fires pose different challenges to firefighters.

“The unfortunate that I think that we all have seen as fire managers is the continued rise of human caused starts and that’s really a major issue. Those human caused starts tend to be the most expensive fires to fight and they cause the most damage, said Harvey”

If you are recreating on endowment land, know how to put out fires, bring the proper gear and research the area and conditions prior to arrival.

You can find more information about Idaho Department of Lands on their website.