Recent fires in the river bottom ignite for three main reasons: warming/cooking fires that get out of control, general proximity to fuel (i.e.,- dry brush), and spread due to environmental factors (i.e.,- wind), or arson. Due to Martin V Boise (see the FAQ: What is Martin v. Boise?) and the lack of available shelter beds for the unhoused in our community, we cannot remove or enforce "no camping" in public spaces because we have nowhere to relocate relocate those individuals safely.
Our response has been and must continue to be to develop creative solutions to help mitigate risk to those in the river bottoms and others in our community. For Example, we've built a recent partnership with the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation to educate those in the river bottoms on general fire safety, fire prevention, and how to keep warm without a fire.
The fact of the matter is, as long as individuals are in our river bottoms, there are going to be fires. With continued outreach and bringing an educational component to the source of the fires, we can help alleviate most of the issues.