Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's bid to help create new state-funded rancher groups to fight wildfires follows the tragic death of 20-year-old firefighter Anne Veseth, who was fighting a wildfire near Orofino last summer.
"We owe her and thousands like her a fighting chance while protecting our forests and rangelands," Otter said. The Governor is requesting $400,000 to help Idaho ranchers create new volunteer fire protective associations to knock down destructive, fast-moving range fires.
As these questions about Idaho firefighter safety loom, State Forester David Groeschl said training for ranchers who will form the proposed new rangeland fire protective associations is essential in maximizing safety — and avoiding accidents like the one that killed Veseth.