BONNERS FERRY — Two fires kept firefighters busy on May 9. The first was a fire at the Boundary County Solid Waste Department that was reported shortly before 1 p.m. When firefighters arrived on scene, the fire was reported to be approximately 50 feet by 50 feet, with flames about 30 feet high and located in the northwestern portion of the landfill.
North Bench Fire responded with automatic aid from South Boundary Fire and Paradise Valley Fire. Hall Mountain Fire and Curley Creek Fire were called in and each responded with a tender. With no fire hydrants in the vicinity, the fire trucks made many trips back and forth with water, which was a drain on resources.
“This really highlights the need for hydrants in and around the landfill,” said North Bench Fire Chief Gus Jackson.
The fire was contained within 30-40 minutes and was extinguished after about four hours. During that time, the Boundary County Chaplain Corps arrived with Angel 1 to lend support.
“We appreciate the help and great response from everyone,” said Jackson.
It was not long before firefighters responded to a second fire, this one on Wolverine Road near the Montana border. Curley Creek Fire responded to the scene and received assistance from North Bench Fire and Hall Mountain Fire. Idaho Department of Lands also responded, and they all worked to get the blaze that totalled about 4.7 acres under control.
The fire had spread quickly from a controlled fire due to dry conditions.
“It is amazing how efficient it burned,” said Jackson. “It only takes a second for it to catch — and whoosh — it’s gone.”
Idaho Department of Lands was able to extinguish the fire completely by Wednesday, May 15.