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Hidden Springs fire station to be staffed starting in June

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Twenty years later, a foothills housing development will have a staffed fire station. 

Starting in June, a long-dormant fire station in the unincorporated Ada County community of Hidden Springs will start answering calls. This is the result of a contract between North Ada County Fire and Rescue and Eagle Fire District, which will provide 24/7 staffing with three firefighters from now on. 

[Boise to replace downtown fire station, add affordable housing]

The station, donated by developers to the NACFR, sat empty while the number of homes in the foothills has ballooned in developments like Dry Creek Ranch, Hidden Springs, and Cartwright Ranch. Even though the area was growing, not enough tax was coming into support the full-time operations of a fire station until now. 

Eagle Fire Chief Tyler Lewis told BoiseDev staffing this station will help cover the growing day-to-day need in the area, but also better position first responders to manage woodland fires. 

“Anytime we can put a resource closer to those wildland fires, especially since the ones that get catastrophic are the ones that get larger, the closer we can get to these fires the quicker we can put them out,” Lewis said. “The goal is to suppress those fires before they get into that three, four five thousand acre range. We’ve seen those before and we know they are devastating.”

Better planning for a sprawling area

Lewis said coordinating with NACFR gives his agency the best chance to cover the area in the most efficient way. 

The new station will have three firefighters on staff at all times and it will include a brush truck, a typical fire engine, and a tactical vehicle for search and rescue operations out in the foothills. It will also have two electric dirt bikes for foothill rescues. While fire equipment and the fire station itself aren’t cheap, the main cost is personnel to work out of the building. 

Lewis said it will cost roughly $1 million annually to staff the Hidden Springs station. 

Opening this station will change the configuration of how the foothills area is serviced by expanding Eagle Fire’s reach beyond its coverage area from its station on Floating Feather Road. The Hidden Springs Station will allow Eagle Fire and NACFR to not duplicate efforts by staffing a station in both Hidden Springs and Dry Creek once the development hits full build-out.

Eagle Fire still plans to build a fire station in Avimor once the development builds 2,000 homes, but Lewis said staffing stations in the foothills at Hidden Springs and Avimor makes more sense. It also prevents more years of waiting before Dry Creek has enough homes to fund a station of its own. 

“Working with Hidden Springs solves those problems because it connects those two developments and allows us to provide that service a lot earlier than (if the stations were only located in) Dry Creek and Avimor.”

Margaret Carmel - BoiseDev Sr. Reporter
Margaret Carmel - BoiseDev Sr. Reporter
Margaret Carmel is a BoiseDev reporter focused on the City of Boise, housing, homelessness and growth. Contact her at [email protected] or by phone at (757)705-8066.

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