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Firefighters in Training!

by Brian Robertson

Recently, the Deary Fire Department held a training burn. It was held at the Norman Brown home which had caught fire December of 1999 and was pronounced a total loss. Norman volunteered the building for a training burn as he is clearing the site in preparation for rebuilding a new home.

The burn is a good training tool for both firefighters and their equipment. A single pumper truck and a water tender were used to control the fire and prevent nearby outbuildings from becoming involved. Firefighters did not enter the structure with self-contained breathing apparatus, as the structure was deemed unstable from the original fire.

The Deary Fire Department is always looking for buildings to hold training sessions. If you have an old building you would like to provide for training, contact Tim Jones at 877-1271 or email us at

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Deary Firefighter, Jim Bell, adds a bit of water to keep things under control.

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Deary's Fire Chief, Tim Jones, takes a break as the blaze rages in the background.

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The heat radiation can be felt from hundreds of feet away.

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Firefighter, Jack Cantrell, keeps a nearby outbuilding from going up in flames.

Fire Danger is REAL!

Grass Fire Danger is REAL in the Spring

Reprinted from the Talk of the Town.

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Just when you thought it was safe to burn—it’s not! The wet winter and snowpack gets us in a complacent mood, forgetting that once the snow is gone, there’s plenty of dry grass down there that’s ready to burn.

Deary firefighters work with shovels and rakes to extinguish last week’s grass fire on Olson Loop Road. Wet ground prevented trucks from reaching the fire with their water supply.

The Deary Fire Department was called to a grass fire last Thursday around noon. The fire was located on Olson Loop Road and was started when sparks from a small yard-waste fire blew into a nearby CRP field. A brisk breeze did the rest, spreading the fire in a few minutes over an area of approximately 10 acres before it could be contained.

Firefighting this time of year is especially difficult, as access is very poor to most areas due to soft ground conditions. It is nearly impossible to get water to a fire that is off a maintained road. Two fire trucks and one firefighter’s pickup became mired in mud as they attempted to get water to the fire, some 300 yards from the nearest road. The fire had to be extinguished by over a dozen firefighters wielding shovels and rakes.brush2.jpg (12097 bytes)

"The area that burned would have been much smaller if we could have gotten the trucks into the field," said Deary Fire Chief, Tim Jones.

Yes, even six-wheel drive(below right)  gets stuck! A heavy load of water and wet clay resulted in Deary’s water tender and QRU (left) to be rendered useless in an attempt to get water on a grass fire.

He stated that homeowners should be especially wary of burning if there is any wind. Just a light breeze was enough to push this fire to the 10-acre size in less than 30 minutes.

It’s amazing, but once the snow is off the dry grass beneath, it only takes a day or two for it to become dry enough to burn. On this fire, grass stems protruding out of standing water were burned—quite a site to see!

brush3.jpg (13263 bytes)Later that same day, around 5:30 pm, another call relayed from an ISP trooper through Boise State Communications, called Deary fire units to a fire at the southern end of the district, halfway up the Kendrick grade.

It was another grass fire, this time burning under some timber near State Highway 3. The fire was located close enough to the road that trucks did not have to venture out onto soft ground and the fire was extinguished with the help of a light rain that had started to fall.

Burning permits are not required at this time, but that doesn’t mean you are not responsible for your fire. If you are going to burn an area, make sure there is a wide buffer of non-combustible area and that wind conditions are very light to non-existent. Have water at the site, shovel and rake and preferably, a vehicle that can carry the water across terrain that is inaccessible to fire trucks. A four-wheeler fitted with a water tank, pump and spray wand with a nozzle is a good idea.

The Idaho Department of Lands (877-1121, for more information) will require permits beginning May 10 and extending through October 20. These dates may be modified depending on environmental conditions. A very dry fall season could extend the permit time if fire officials deem it necessary.

If you have an area you want to burn, for a donation, the Deary FD will come out and take a look at the site and assist with the burn with firefighters and trucks. Contact Tim Jones, 877-1271 for more information on this program.

Back to Deary Fire Home Page

Last revised: January 25, 2001