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Rural fire crews receive equipment from the IDL

Posted at 10:18 PM, Apr 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-26 19:32:12-04
A group of volunteer rangeland firefighters made up of mostly local ranchers is getting a major boost.
 
The Idaho Department of Lands is giving more than 100,000 dollars worth of equipment to protect millions of acres.
 
Idaho has six different Rangeland Fire Protection Associations of RFPA's with two more forming this year. 
 
These ranchers provide a quick initial attack in areas where it would take traditional crews longer to get to the scene.
 
They provide primary protection for more than 1.4 million acres of private land. 
 
Monday, the Department of Lands gave the RFPA's four different engines and five slip in units to help them battle those fires.
 
The Department of Lands, the BLM, and the RFPA's say the partnership has been very beneficial when it comes to fighting the flames. 
 
"We all come out there.in a very professional fashion. We go out there planning on working together, and we are in communication. I know there were some concerns right in the beginning like were going to have to keep track of all of these sheep herders and cowboys, but that really hasn't been that way. We have developed a tremendous working relationship," said Michael Guerry.
 
The RFPA's say the new equipment will be stored in different areas where fires are likely so they can provide an even quicker attack once a fire sparks.
 
Last year alone the RFPA's helped crews battle more than 30 fires across Idaho.