Pioneer Fire Inquiry
Document Type: Report
Author(s): Beth Rands; Bill Van Bruggen; Richard D. Stratton; David E. Calkin; Bea Day; Pete Duncan; Steve Goldman; Sherry A. Tune; Daniel R. Williams
Publication Year: 2016

Cataloging Information

  • Boise National Forest
  • fire inquiry
  • fire review
  • Idaho
  • Life First
  • Pioneer Fire
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: July 9, 2020
FRAMES Record Number: 61504


What is an Inquiry? An inquiry is not an inquisition. It is not a review or an investigation in the traditional sense. An inquiry takes a closer look at incident by asking questions, with the objective of learning as the central theme. At the lowest level (Level 1), the fire inquiry is answering a questionnaire to identify strengths and weaknesses of the wildland fire system. Level 2 and 3 fire inquiries add additional questions that are more difficult to answer and accompany a higher degree of discussion and documentation. A Level 4 inquiry, such as that conducted on the Pioneer Fire, is the closest to the traditional fire review, with the key difference that it is more of a freeform learning process, and not necessarily focused on fires that had tragic outcomes.

About the Pioneer Fire: The story of the Pioneer Fire begins well before its ignition on July 18, 2016, with considerable internal and external relationship building, and a history of fires across the landscape. The Pioneer Fire burned within the counties of Boise and Valley, Idaho, and within the protection area of the Boise National Forest (NF), as identified in the Idaho Cooperative Fire Protection Agreement. The fire started on the Idaho City Ranger District, approximately 26 miles northeast of Boise, and spread onto the Lowman and Emmett Ranger Districts. The communities of Idaho City, Pioneerville, Centerville, Lowman, and Garden Valley were threatened or directly impacted by the fire. At the start of the inquiry on September 6, the Pioneer Fire covered over 180,000 acres with a perimeter exceeding 400 miles. Seven IMTs have managed the fire, including one Type 3, two Type 2, and four Type 1 teams. The fire was temporarily divided into north and south zones, using a Type 1 and Type 2 IMT to facilitate command and control.

Online Link(s):
Link to this document (999 KB; pdf)
Rands, Beth; Van Bruggen, Bill; Stratton, Richard D.; Calkin, David E.; Day, Bea; Duncan, Pete; Goldman, Steve; Tune, Sherry A.; Williams, Daniel R. 2016. Pioneer Fire Inquiry. Washington DC: USDA Forest Service, Fire and Aviation Management, National Headquarters. 13 p.