Table Rock Fire

Julio Cortez / AP Photo

After controversy over legal vs illegal fireworks in Idaho in the run up to the July Fourth holiday, the Boise Fire Department reports they did respond to fires over the long weekend caused by fireworks.

BFD reports 13 fires on July 4 and July 5. Four were started by fireworks, and five are still under investigation. That is a drop from last year when ten fires were started by fireworks.

Boise Parks and Recreation Department

It’s been a year since last June’s Table Rock Fire in the Boise Foothills destroyed 2,500 acres of wildlife habitat. Sparked by illegal fireworks, the blaze burned and blackened the sagebrush-covered landscape. Over the last 12 months, a group of people and agencies have worked to restore the area.

Martha Brabec says she’s seeing progress when she travels through the burn area. As Boise Parks and Recreation’s Foothills Restoration Specialist, she’s on the front lines of the fire recovery effort.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

In the latest twist over legal fireworks, an opinion from the Idaho Attorney General's office says aerial fireworks can only be sold to someone with a permit for a public display or event. The controversy over sales of bottle rockets and Roman candles heated up after last year’s Table Rock Fire in the Boise Foothills.

 

Joe Jaszewski / Idaho Statesman

The man accused of starting last summer’s Table Rock Fire was ordered to pay a hefty fine Friday in a Boise courtroom.

After declaring his innocence for months, a judge earlier this week said evidence overwhelmingly pointed to Taylor Kemp as the culprit of the Table Rock Fire.

On the night of June 29 last year, a roman candle Kemp ignited illegally near the Boise landmark sparked the 2,500 acre blaze that destroyed one home and threatened dozens.

Idaho Fish and Game

Parts of the Boise River Wildlife Management Area were closed earlier this year to protect wintering mule deer and elk. The closure included sections of land burned during the Table Rock and Mile Marker 14 wildfires last summer. But May 1, those popular trails in the foothills are expected to reopen.

state seal, legislature
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Monday was a busy day at the Statehouse.

Joe Jaszewski / Idaho Statesman

Oddly enough, you can buy fireworks in Idaho, but detonating aerial types in the state is illegal. The Table Rock Fire started unintentionally with illegal fireworks on June 30th of last year; the total cost of battling the flames ended up around $341,000.

Immediately following the fire, Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan called the fireworks policy “absolutely ludicrous.”

Now, Doan is asking lawmakers to prohibit the sale of fireworks in Idaho.

Sean Dahlman

It’s been more than four months since the Table Rock Fire blackened the prominent plateau in Boise.  The fast-moving wildfire ate up 2,500 acres where invasive weed species had taken over, fueling the flames overnight and destroying important mule deer and elk wintering grounds.

That’s where Martha Brabec comes in. Brabec is the foothills restoration specialist for the city. She’s been on the job for two months, and she immediately got to work on Table Rock.

Boise Fire Department / Twitter

Wildlife habitat managers say it’s essential that the area burned by the Table Rock fire in the Boise foothills be restored to prevent invasive species from taking over. The City of Boise already has $100,000 from the Zoo Boise conservation fund for habitat rehabilitation in the burn scar. But the city has very little expertise rehabbing land.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Most trails on Table Rock and in other areas burned by last week's big fire re-opened early this week. But biologists who will help oversee the area's restoration are concerned that off-trail use in the area could complicate those rehabilitation efforts.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Director of Boise's zoo announced today that they will give $100,000 to replant native vegetation in the area burned by the Table Rock Fire in the Boise Foothills.

Zoo Director Steve Burns says the money will come from the Zoo Boise Conservation Fund.

Over the last nine years, zoo visitors have generated about $2 million in the fund for wildlife conservation. A portion of each zoo entry fee goes into the fund.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Table Rock Fire started late Wednesday night and continued into Thursday. By mid-morning officials said it had burned 2,500 acres but was mostly contained. The fire destroyed two structures including a home. Investigators say it was caused by fireworks. 

Scott Graf, Boise State Public Radio

Final update: Crews reached full containment on the Table Rock Fire at 9 o'clock Thursday evening. Boise Fire officials say crews will monitor the fire through at least Friday to maintain containment. 

Update, 5:35 p.m.: Fire crews continued to make progress on the Table Rock Friday Thursday afternoon. Boise Fire Department officials said just before 5:30 that the fire is now 85 percent contained and that full containment is expected by 10 p.m.