Idaho Fire Chief Lloyd Cossairt (Documentary Photo #vh67y):

The truth is, we can't force anybody to evacuate their home.   They want to stay, we have to allow it. 

Part of this one-sixth was Table Rock. It was probably a lightning strike that started the fire, but it quickly spread downward. No homes were on the hill, but the mayor decided that something had to be done about the orange blanket eating up the land around Boise, and ordered two fire teams to try and stop the blaze from wandering into the city. They were attempting to dig a firebreak without large earth moving equipment when the wind shifted and the fire covered one hundred yards in about six seconds. Four men died and the rest figured they were about to when the wind shifted again. The fire just stopped its advance.

Evidence at the site: none.

The hills around Table Rock seem to catch fire every few years, Boise being notoriously dry in the summers. In 1997, fire came 100 feet from my mother’s house. She stood in the back yard with a garden hose.

Watched the flames eat themselves closer.

But the wind shifted.

Evidence at the site: none


My Father Bob Blackburn (Documentary Photo #d3458):

I worried about Debbie up there, but what could I do?  I called when I heard about the fire.  I practically built that house, but she said she didn't want my help.