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Idaho Fire Incident Map

Friday, July 24, 2020

Twin Falls District Fire Management distributes fire shelters to rural partners


The Twin Falls District Fire Management program recently distributed nearly 60 fire shelters to our local rural fire department partners; King Hill, Wendell, Castleford, Albion, Raft River, Sun Valley, Ketchum, Fairfield, Bellevue, and Carey. 

 According to Carey Rural Fire Department Assistant Chief Bradly Mechan, “For us, receiving these shelters from the BLM is huge. Our budgets are small, and having the partnership with the BLM allows us to equip our volunteers and allow them to do their jobs safely.” The Carey Rural Fire Department received four new shelters, which will replace older shelters that are currently being used.

 

What is a Fire Shelter?

A fire shelter is a critical safety device used by wildland fire fighters when entrapped by a wildfire. Constructed of layers of aluminum foil, woven silica and fiberglass, a fire shelter helps protect firefighters by reflecting radiant and convection heat as well as trapping breathable air. They are only intended to be deployed when all other options of safety are compromised.  

 

History of Fire Shelters

The first recorded use of a fire shelter was in the 1800s by Lewis and Clark, during their exploration of the America’s.

The modern fire shelter was developed in Australia, in 1958, and was a bell-shaped shelter made of laminated aluminum and glass cloth. In 1959, the Australians abandoned the bell-shape design for the now common A-frame design.

Following the Battlement Creek Fire in Colorado in 1977, the United States made it a requirement for all wildland fire fighters to carry the shelter while engaged in wildland fire suppression activities.

 

For more information about fire shelters visit:

https://www.nwcg.gov/sites/default/files/committee/docs/fsppes-fire-shelter-history.pdf