The Shoshone County office of Fire Mitigation is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the county fire and fuel management program to implement community fire protection measures and hazardous fuels treatments in conjunction with programs authorized by the Board of Commissioners.
The Project Manager works with private landowners, elected officials, various State and Federal agency officials, designated planning committees, the Emergency Services Manager and the County Commissioners to preserve life and protect our natural resources and critical infrastructure from catastrophic fires. The Project Manager also:
- Manages and administers State and Federal grants to treat hazardous fuels;
- Assists the Shoshone County Local Emergency Planning Committee in addressing wildfire fire threats;
- Interacts with rural fire departments to secure equipment, deliver training and integrate those departments in a unified fire command structure for fire response and suppression;
- Coordinates with assigned incident management teams on behalf of the county;
- Provides public information and education on wildland fire, particularly in the community interface areas;
- Develops individual residence assessments upon request, proposes community and landscape fuels treatment projects and coordinates implementation; and
- Oversees the currency and applicability of the Shoshone County Fire Mitigation Plan.
Project: Idaho Silver Valley
American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds are being used to employ local workers to improve forest health and wildfire protection zones in Idaho's Silver Valley. The first phase of this project involves establishing a county field office, conducting forest resource assessments, developing prescriptions and prioritizing treatment areas. During the second phase of the project, contractors will thin overcrowded trees and prune to improve forest health, and will treat hazardous fuels to reduce wildfire threats. Over 900 acres of treated forestland will be more fire resistant and resilient to insect and disease attack which will increase the safety and security of several rural communities.
Project Update: December 21, 2009
For several months, foresters have been working on phase one of this two and a half year project. Phase one includes working with private landowners, assessing forest health conditions and developing treatment plans to improve the forests in Idaho's Silver Valley. Over 500 acres have been assessed and in early December, a contract crew began thinning and pruning trees and creating fuel breaks near Smelterville, Idaho.
ARRA Funding: $1,817,000
Number of jobs created/saved over the life of the project: Forecasted 55
Bonnie England, Shoshone County Forestry Technician; Henry Nipp, Shoshone County Fire Mitigation Project Manager; and Ed Pommerening, Forestry Consultant, develop a treatment plan to continue improving the surrounding forest's health.
Located near Smelterville, Idaho, this forest was planted nearly 30 years ago with the start of a major rehabilitation project to reforest land barren from the effects of past mining. The reforestation effort was highly successful and to ensure the forest remains healthy and the threat of fire to communities is reduced, the trees will be thinned and hazardous fuels removed.
"This project is funded by Federal Stimulus Dollars through State and Private Forestry, Forest Health Protection of the USDA Forest Service, Hazardous Fuel Reduction and Ecosystem Restoration and the Idaho Department of Lands Bureau of Forestry Assistance. The United States Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status. To file a complaint, call (202) 720-5964."