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Idaho Ranchers Train as Firefighters

flickr.com, William Herron

GLENNS FERRY, Idaho (AP) — Some ranchers in southern Idaho are getting training to serve as first responders to area wildfires. The Times-News  reports that groups like the Saylor Creek Rangeland Fire Protection Association are springing up around the region, made up of ranchers who perform initial wildfire suppression efforts on public lands.

John Solosabal is a member of the Saylor Creek association. He says the group’s members take turns watching for signs of fire. Last Friday, he was on duty during a lightning storm. When he saw smoke, he contacted the Bureau of Land Management and rounded up help.

The ranchers used a tractor and disc to dig a fire line before the BLM firefighters got to the scene. Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter approved $400,000 to help form the groups earlier this year.

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