Dangerous River Condition in Effect on the Boise River

April 28, 2023

Media Alert: Boise Fire Special Operations Division Chief, Paul Roberts, and Boise Parks and Recreation Director, Doug Holloway, are available for interviews at 2:30 pm at City Hall West (333 N Mark Stall Pl Boise Idaho, 83704).

The Boise River is running high and fast and the Boise Fire Department has posted the “Dangerous River Condition” notice. This posting is in coordination with the City of Boise’s Department of Parks and Recreation, Boise Police, Ada County Parks and Waterways, and other stakeholders. Current river flows are right around 6,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) making river conditions extremely dangerous for people and pets. This posting will remain in effect until further notice.

The following hazards warrant the “Dangerous River Condition”:

  • Swift water that can carry people and pets away rapidly.
  • Cold water that can cause even the best swimmer to be incapable of swimming due to loss of motor/muscle control.
  • Debris in the river can injure people and contributes to extreme risk.
  • High water levels create reduced clearance when going under bridges.
  • Soft and unstable river banks.
  • If flooding takes place it can make access to the river more dangerous, if not impossible.

“Although we are not yet at flood stage (7,000 cfs), we want the public to be aware of the dangers associated with increased Boise River flows, as our greatest concern is for the safety of the public and our first responders.”
- Paul Roberts, Special Operations Division Chief

At this time, Boise Fire recommends that you do not recreate in the river, as these conditions can be life threatening. Keep pets leashed near the river as they may chase other animals/wildlife into the swift water and be swept away rapidly. Please note, a few portions of the Greenbelt managed by the City of Boise are closed due to water over the pathway, and detours are in place where possible. Click here for the latest Greenbelt information and to view an interactive map.

If someone gets into trouble, do not go in the water after them, call 911 immediately. The dispatcher needs to know how many people are in the water and where they are located; closest street, bridge crossing, what park they are in, what side of the river they are on, Greenbelt mile marker, etc.

Background Information: According to the Public Safety Emergency Response Cost Recovery Ordinance Section 7-02-01 through 7- 02-07, Boise City may impose a charge to recover costs incurred by the City for responding to a rescue on the river. 7-02-02 States: “Rescue emergency means a public safety or fire emergency incident resulting from a person or persons knowingly entering any area that has been closed to the public by competent authority for any reason, where such closure is posted by sign, barricade, or other device, and an emergency response such as a search for or rescue of such person results from the entry. For example, a rescue emergency would arise when the Boise River is flowing at a cubic foot per second level such that an authorized State, County, or City official declares the river closed to floating or rafting, the entry points are signed or otherwise posted as closed, and a person ignores the closure and a search and/or rescue results from the entry.”

Contact: Boise Fire Media Relations

(208) 570-6180 | bfdmedialine@cityofboise.org                                  

Dangerous River Condition in effect on the Boise River.

Contact: Boise Fire/BPD Media Relations

(208) 570-6780 | bpdmedialine@cityofboise.org

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