The Forest Service is investigating a report by a firefighter that he and others fighting the Tepee Springs Fire near Riggins were harassed and threatened with guns by landowners, reports Rocky Barker of the Idaho Statesman. The unidentified firefighter said the landowners were unhappy with the strategies firefighters were using; Barker’s full story is online here, and the AP has a report here.
The incidents were reported between Sept. 2 and 6, when the fire behavior was still extreme. “The landowners, on multiple occasions, expressed frustration towards firefighters (for) their suppression actions, which ranged from verbal threats to aggressive posturing,” the firefighter wrote in a report filed on the National Interagency Fire Center’s SAFENET page, which is designed to give firefighters a voice in safety decisions and to direct managers to safety concerns. The report was also published in the online firefighter’s web magazine Wildfire Today, along with a detailed response from a landowner, who disputed it and said firefighting efforts could have better protected his ranch.