BRUNEAU, Idaho (KIFI) — In an effort to bolster wildfire response capabilities, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Boise District has facilitated the transfer of a surplus wildland fire water tender to the Bruneau Volunteer Fire Department through the Rural Fire Readiness Program.
The transfer comes at no cost and forms a crucial part of BLM's commitment to supporting the firefighting capacity of local fire districts, volunteer fire departments, and rangeland fire protection associations.
"Investing in our local cooperators through the Rural Fire Readiness Program is not only a vital responsibility but a cornerstone of our commitment to effective firefighting," BLM Boise District Acting Fire Management Officer Lance Okeson said. "The ability to transfer equipment is a result of continued collaboration and ensures that we stand better prepared against the threat of wildland fires.”
On July 24, 2023, Bruneau Volunteer Fire Department, which plays a pivotal role in combatting wildland fires in Idaho, received a type 2 wildland fire water tender, capable of holding an impressive 3,500 gallons of water. This acquisition provides the department with increased firefighting capabilities, allowing for a more rapid response to wildfires in the region.
"As the Chief of Bruneau Fire, I manage a large and diverse district with limited water availability," Stacey Buckingham said. "We respond to various fire-related calls, encompassing structures, vehicles, RVs, and wildland incidents. I cannot stress enough the significant impact of having a 3,500-gallon water tender in our fleet, tipping the scales and strengthening our efforts in protecting life and property. This vehicle transfer serves as an excellent example of how different agencies can collaboratively work together for a positive outcome."
The BLM's collaborative approach with city volunteer fire departments is essential, as these departments are often the first to respond to wildfires on private, state, and federal lands. With wildfire seasons becoming longer and more extreme, such partnerships have become paramount in safeguarding communities and natural resources. Over the years, the BLM has consistently transferred surplus wildland fire engines, water tenders, tools, hose, pumps, and other equipment to numerous fire programs across Idaho, further solidifying commitments to fire readiness in the state.