Friday, August 26, 2016

Controversy at Henry's Creek community fire meeting

There was some controversy at the Henry's Creek community fire meeting Thursday night. Some local ranchers expressed concern over how the Bureau of Land Management is fighting the more than 52,000 acre fire. It's an argument that's been brewing on social media the past few days. Some believe the fire would be out if it wasn't for jurisdiction issues. "My frustration is that we're not working together as a team. The BLM says they have their rules. Idaho Falls says they have their rules. Each division has their own rules instead of banding together to get the job done," said local rancher Bart Stolworthy. "It's the same politics every time there's a fire up there." He claims the BLM sent multiple fire crews home when the fire first started. However, BLM officials said that isn't true. "Obviously everyone is upset when you have such a disastrous fire and it affects your livelihood and your way of living.," said Joel Gosswiller with the Idaho Falls BLM. The BLM said there's been significant improvement when it comes to fighting fires with land owners. On Thursday night, officials said one way to better those relations is rangeland fire protection associations. "Rangeland fire protection associations are when a group of private landowners with concerns over land with fire protection on those lands," said Gosswiller. A group of private landowners can become part of a rangeland fire protection association. The BLM and other agencies provide training that allows landowners to help them fight fires safely. Officials said there are grants available for landowners who chose to create a rangeland fire protection association...more

No comments: