The Evacuation

Fire in the Foothills

Story and Photos by Richard Mouser

It started out a normal Wednesday afternoon at my family’s house last October. I was shoveling bark and laying it onto garden beds when my mother stepped outside.

“Do you see all that smoke coming from the foothills?” she asked.

I looked up at a large plume coming down from the north, billowing up from the rolling foothills. It was hard to tell how far away it was. Later, I learned the smoke came from the Goose Fire, named after Goose Creek Road, which burned 441 acres in Eagle and the Boise Foothills. Detectives eventually identified four teenagers who were responsible for causing the fire. They had been lighting fireworks at Eagle Bike Park when a man warned them to stop and leave. So they moved to Goose Creek Road and lit more fireworks, which started the wildfire. The teens abandoned the scene without trying to extinguish the blaze.

As I put away the shovel and wheelbarrow I was using, my aunt’s boyfriend stopped by to see if my family was all right. But the fire was several miles away and we were fine.

Just fifteen minutes later, the wind pushed the fire closer in the direction of my family’s home on Old Hill Road and police cars appeared. Their concern was for a man who lived in a house in the foothills on the other side of Farmer’s Union Canal. His house would be the one in the most danger.

“They might make us evacuate at some point,” my mother said. “I’d start taking things out to your car.”

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Richard Mouser

About Richard Mouser

Richard Mouser is a Boise-raised photographer. He posts his photos to Flickr, where they get up to ten million views. Richard contributes photos to both the Canyon County and Western Idaho Fairs, where he has received multiple blue ribbons and a Merit Award. In 2019 he graduated from Boise State, where he met his partner Colton. They live together in northwest Boise.