In prior years, the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) heavily relied on social media and its website to share information about wildfires with the public. Now, Idahoans have another way to obtain timely information. They can sign up for text or email alerts about wildfires on land protected by IDL by visiting www.idl.idaho.gov/alerts.
The new alert system supports the Governor’s Leading Idaho initiative to enhance public safety. The system covers all 6.3 million acres in IDL’s 12 forest protective districts.
When a fire under IDL protection exceeds 10 acres in size or threatens structures, IDL typically sends timely updates about the incident to local officials, fire agencies and the media. The new alert system leverages work already undertaken by IDL’s Fire Information Duty Officers by using the agency’s GovDelivery email system to automatically distribute incident updates to a broader list of public subscribers. For this reason, it’s crucial that District Duty Officers reach out to the on-call Fire Information Duty Officer when an incident exceeds ten acres in size, threatens structures, or is likely to generate media or public interest.
When announcing the Wildfire Alert system at a press conference in Coeur d’Alene, Governor Little explained: “Not everyone uses social media, so it is important to provide the public with additional options to stay apprised of wildfires that may affect them. The new Wildfire Alert System allows Idahoans, especially those who live in the wildland urban interface, a new and convenient option for obtaining timely and relevant information about wildfires.”