Benewah County Wildland-Urban Interface Wildfire Mitigation Plan Update 2012

Wildfire Latah County 2003 Benewah County has witnessed some significant disasters throughout history. One notable event was the August 1910 Wildfire, which charred over 3.0 million acres within the region, and approximately 87,500 acres in Benewah County alone. This inferno resulted in over $1.0 million in damages at the time (1910). The total death toll has been estimated at over 300 lives. This event has been well known as “The 1910 Fire” and “The Big Blowup”. Other large wildfire events impacting Benewah County have included wildfires in 1900 (21,240 acres), 1889 (11,500 acres), 1927-28 (6,700 acres), 1931 (5,000 acres), 1919 (4,700 acres), 1929 (3,400 acres), 1969 (1,400 acres), 1932-33 (1,100 acres), 1922-23 (170 acres), and 1927 (90 acres). Each of these events indiscriminately crossed county and state boundaries to char lands in the path of the inferno. Although some of these blazes appear to be small, the size shown here only reflects the impact on Benewah County; for instance, the 1927 wildfire event torched a total of 28,300 acres in Benewah County and adjoining areas.

This Wildfire Mitigation Plan update is designed to keep the County's focus on the positive benefits we have seen since these activities were initiated in 2004. Wildfire spread has been limited, and homes have not been destroyed to the extent they could have been. The photo to the right shows the destruction of a wildfire in neighboring Latah County (Moscow Mountain), which burned forests and homes within one burning period in July, 2003. Preventative measures can reduce, or eliminate, these catastrophic events, and save lives. For these reasons, Benewah County, with the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, US Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, Idaho Department of Lands, Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security, Potlatch Corporation, Inland Forest Management, Kamiak Environmental, the St. Maries Fire Protection District, Gateway Fire Protection District, Tensed Fire Department, and the Fernwood Fire Department are teaming together to plan how to locate and implement activities to reduce risks from wildfire destruction in Benewah County.

We seek the input from Benewah County residents about what you would like to see implemented, or to answer your questions pertaining to these efforts.

At the bottom of this page is an interactive map showing the potential mitigation measures we have mapped for implementation by the cooperating agencies and organizations to make a real difference in the lives of Benewah County Residents.

Mission Statement

To make Benewah County residents, communities, and businesses less vulnerable to the negative effects of natural hazards through the effective administration of hazard mitigation grant programs, hazard risk assessments, wise and efficient mitigation measures, and a coordinated approach to mitigation policy through county, Tribal, state, federal, regional, and local planning efforts. Our combined prioritization is the protection of people, structures, infrastructure, economy, and unique ecosystems that contribute to our way of life and the sustainability of the local and regional economy.

Vision Statement

Institutionalize and promote a county-wide hazard mitigation ethic through leadership, professionalism, and excellence, leading the way to a safe, sustainable Benewah County, Coeur d’Alene Tribe, and local municipalities.

Goals

The Benewah County Wildland-Urban Interface Wildfire Mitigation Planning Committee has adopted a series of primary goals intended to benefit each populated place, municipality, and the county’s residents and visitors.

Benewah County WUI
Above: Wildland-Urban Interface update 2012
Below: Interactive Map of Benewah County for Planning Committee and Public Involvement use.


View Larger Map
This map is scalable (zoom in and out), panable, and shows data layers with Potential Wildfire Mitigation Project Areas for the Planning Committee and the Public to Browse and comment.
Send your comments to: Kamiak Environmental, LLC

Benewah County