Grass fire near Eagle started by man trying to smoke badger out of culvert

Maria Decaney

Photo: Image by Ada County Sheriff's Office

Grass fire near Eagle started by man trying to smoke badger out of culvert

CREATED Aug. 15, 2013

It appears a grass fire which burned 4 acres near the Shadow Valley Golf Course early Wednesday evening was ignited by man trying to smoke a badger out of a culvert.

Eagle Fire received a 9-1-1 call around 6 p.m. reporting a grass fire near the intersection of Spring Creek Way and W. Stack Rock Road.

Prior to the call, a man lit a smoke bomb and put it into one end of a culvert, waiting for the badger to exit at the other end.  Just then, the wind shifted, causing the grass to ignite.

The man called 9-1-1 to report what happened. He did not see what happened to the badger.

The fire burned near an estimated twelve homes. Eagle Fire received assistance from Star, Boise, and Meridian fire crews on the ground and aerial support (helicopters and single-engine planes) from the Bureau of Land Management.

The helicopters dropped water on the fire while the planes dropped retardant to protect homes in the area as crews worked on the ground.

Fire crews also benefited from landowners who had defensible space around their property.

“Local homeowners were a major help,” Eagle Fire Chief Mike Winkle said. “Access (to the fire) was a big issue, but a lot of those homeowners have horses and livestock, so the grass was graded down pretty well.”

Even with the defensible space, the potential for the fire to spread was very high because of hot and dry late summer conditions. Crews caught a break as winds were light Wednesday evening. It took crews about two hours to contain the fire.

No people or livestock were hurt and no structures burned in the blaze.

Officials have not decided if they will seek financial restitution from the man trying to smoke the badger out of the culvert.

 

(Photo courtesy Ada County Sheriff's Office)

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