- Associated Press - Monday, May 9, 2016

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) - The Three Creek Rangeland Fire Protection Association has added two more pieces of equipment to their arsenal in order to fight fires in rural southwest Idaho.

The Idaho Department of Lands has donated a type 6 engine and a slip-in unit to the Three Creek RFPA, The Times-News reported (http://bit.ly/1SYXiXZ). Similar equipment was also donated to Owyhee, Saylor Creek and Shoshone Basin RFPAs.

The slip-in unit’s tank can hold 75 to 300 gallons of water and is equipped with its own pump system. It can be attached to any pickup truck. The type 6 engine is a four-wheel drive 550 Ford with a 300-gallon tank.

“It’s all beneficial,” said Mike Guerry, chairman of the Three Creek RFPA. “Our whole deal is the quick response.”

Ranchers help staff the fire protection associations and help with the initial response to rangeland fires because of their knowledge or the land. RFPAs were first recognized in 2013, but before 2012 ranchers were not legally allowed to fight fires.

Together, the six RFPAs protect almost 1,500 square miles or private rangeland and secondarily protect about 7,500 square miles of federal and state land. In 2016, two new RFPAs are forming, the Camas Creek and Notch Butte, near Shoshone.

Last year, the Three Creek RFPA helped fight six fires. In 2014, they fought three fires and 13 in 2013.

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Information from: The Times-News, http://www.magicvalley.com

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