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Boise Fire will respond to only life-threatening emergencies in Alto Via Court landslide area

Posted at 9:56 AM, Jul 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-06 23:10:18-04

A creeping landslide on private property around Alto Via Court in the Boise Foothills has created dangerous conditions for Foothills users and curious onlookers interested in conditions in the area.

Public safety experts at the Boise Fire Department are urging members of the public to avoid the Alto Via Court area because of widening crevices in the hillside, deteriorating roads and utilities, and worsening structural damage to homes along the road.

“This area is not safe and people should stay away for their own safety,” said Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan. “Stability of the ground has created a number of very serious hazards that could be life-threatening to anyone who ventures into the slide area or among these homes.”

As a result of the conditions, the Boise Fire Department has a limited ability to respond to emergencies in the slide area -- and first responders will not enter the area unless there is a known danger to a person’s life, according to a Boise Fire department news release. Any fires or other emergencies inside of a perimeter immediately around the slide area will be contained to avoid damage to adjacent rangeland and homes, the release said.

“People continue to venture onto this private property out of curiosity, but they should know that they trespass here at their own risk,” Doan said. “Unless we know someone’s life is in jeopardy, we cannot risk the lives of our firefighters by entering the slide area.”

The Fire Department is particularly concerned about children or teenagers who may venture into the area without understanding the danger of falling into a crevice or being inside of an unstable building. “We’re lucky no one has been hurt yet,” Doan added. “Protecting the public is our highest priority.”

In March, it became apparent that about a nine-acre area around Alto Via Court was beginning to slide. Since that time the ground has moved significantly, officials said, undermining the stability of six homes on the street.

In April, one home was deemed unsafe by the City of Boise and, in May, the Ada County Highway District closed Alto Via Court to the public due to damage to the street caused by the moving ground.