Healthy Hills Initiative
On August 3, 2009 a fire started in the foothills northeast of Eagle near the intersection of Horseshoe Bend Road and Floating Feather Road. Dry vegetation coupled with high winds fueled the fire that ultimately burned over 200 acres of Ada County property and threatened homes in the Sage Acres and Eagle Springs Estates neighborhoods. Thanks to the swift response of area firefighters the fire was contained prior to damaging any homes.
The foothills ecosystem and the area formerly known as the Velodrome site were not so lucky. The fire destroyed much of the existing wildlife habitat and greatly increased the potential for soil erosion from the bare, sloping hills and the newly constructed recreational trails. Local leadership and immediate action were necessary to minimize further damage and help restore native wildlife habitat.
In the aftermath of the fire the Ada SWCD partnered with other leaders in the fields of natural resources, wildlife, research, and fire management to form a coalition called the Healthy Hills Initiative (HHI). Working with the land owners and managers (Ada County, City of Eagle, and BLM), HHI has conducted several restoration, demonstration, fuels reduction, educational, and research projects within the original 2009 burn area and the additional 600+ acres surrounding the burn. The work is ongoing and the intent is to provide examples of projects and efforts that can be transferred to other areas of the Boise Foothills ecosystem. To learn more about this unique and exciting collaboration please visit the website at healthyhills.org.
NFPA’s Firewise Communities Program encourages local solutions for safety by involving homeowners in taking individual responsibility for preparing their homes from the risk of wildfire. Firewise is a key component of Fire Adapted Communities – a collaborative approach that connects all those who play a role in wildfire education, planning and action with comprehensive resources to help reduce risk. To save lives and property from wildfire, Firewise teaches people how to adapt to living with wildfire and encourages neighbors to work together and take action now to prevent losses.