Boise & Garden City

Boise Foothills wildfire caused by fireworks

The fire began about midnight near Wild Horse subdivision north of Table Rock. Strong winds pushed the fire around Table Rock and south toward Warm Springs Mesa subdivision and Harris Ranch, threatening hundreds of homes.

By mid-morning the fire had grown to 2,500 acres and had consumed one home and one outbuilding.

The Boise Fire Department says fireworks are to blame.

By noon 7,000 Idaho Power customers in the area lost power. The power outage impacted people west of Lucky Peak and north and west along the foothills, according to Idaho Power. Crews are on scene, but it’s not yet clear when power will be restored.

Warm Springs Avenue was closed past the golf course until around 1:30 p.m. when it was reopened. Boise Fire urged drivers to use caution and avoid driving over hoses.

Boise City Fire Department, Bureau of Land Management, Eagle, Meridian and Star fire departments were called in to battle the blaze.

By 8 a.m. fire officials reported crews had knocked down the fire and homes were no longer threatened. The blaze was 60 percent contained by 11 a.m.

“We had an advantageous wind shift from the south pushing the fire away from homes,” said Brandon Hampton, BLM fire information officer.

Air support, which cannot operate when it is dark, began attacking the blaze in the morning and will continue during the day.

The Boise River is open to floaters, according to fire officials. Floaters and people recreating in or near the river need to be aware that a helicopter will be dipping water out of the river, Hampton said.

Fire officials also are asking the public not to fly drones in the area because the devices could interfere with aerial firefighting efforts.

All trails in the Table Rock area are closed for safety reasons.

No injuries have been reported, according to Andy Delmas, fire management officer for the BLM in Boise.

‘It rolled straight over the hill at us’

John Tomlinson awoke to a neighbor pounding on his door at 12:30 a.m. Thursday. The fire was burning toward his home on Barber Drive at a breakneck pace.

“It rolled straight over the hill at us,” Tomlinson said.

Burning embers were flying throughout the Harris Ranch subdivision and even burned the fence of his neighbor, Russ Kite.

Both men grabbed garden hoses.

“I was up on my roof watering it down. There were burning embers everywhere,” said Tomlinson, who had watched the 2008 Oregon Trail Fire burn into Columbia Village .

This time, Tomlinson watched a nearby home on Pheasant Lane and an outbuilding off Starview Drive burn to the ground.

‘The hill is on fire, you guys get up and get out’

The Pheasant Lane home belongs to Steven Danielson.

He and his, wife, Tara, and their three sons were asleep when the fire broke out.

Danielson said his step-daughter was out with her boyfriend when they noticed the fire in the foothills.

“They drove up the hill as fast as they could and came in, busted in the house screaming, ‘The hill is on fire, you guys get up and get out,’” Danielson told the Statesman.

He and his family and three dogs and one cat escaped the flames. One cat is missing. Their home is completely destroyed.

“My grandpa, Jess Danielson, built it for his wife. … They passed away and I moved up here to try to finish what grandpa started and now nature or someone else took it.”

Wind gusts of 40 to 45 mph were recorded in the area overnight, said Tim Barker with the National Weather Service Boise office. Lightning strikes also were reported in the Treasure Valley, but the weather service did not record any near Table Rock, Barker said, but that does not mean there weren’t any strikes in the area.

The weather service expects 10 to 12 mph northwest winds today. The high temperature will be in the mid-90s this afternoon.

Chris Hurt, who lives in the area of Roanoke Drive and Troutner Way, was up all night keeping an eye on the fire and helping neighbors spray down their yards and homes. He learned about the fire about 12:30 this morning.

“A friend of mine Snapchatted me and I didn’t believe him,” Hurt said. “I went around back and saw [the area] on fire.”