Tumbleweeds pile up outside Boise North End home

BOISE—A North End couple is trying to figure out how to remove 20 foot tumbleweed piles from their yard, after windstorms hit Boise this week.

Regina and Rick Smith live on Lancaster Drive, which borders the Highland Hollows area of the foothills. When over 30 mph winds rushed into town this week, the tumbleweeds funneled into their and their neighbor's backyard covering and blocking everything.

"I mean, it's insane it just keeps piling up," said Regina.

Regina estimates the weeds are as high as 15 to 20 feet in some places. The mess now covers about two-thirds of the backyard, this after a cleanup crew was brought in Friday to help do away with the weeds.

The cleanup is costing the family several hundred dollars and the Smith's can't help but wonder that someone has got to be held accountable.

Last year the City of Boise acquired 260 acres for "open space" in the Highland Hollows area. Regina spent time Friday calling around to the Public Works department, Boise Fire Department, and even those who enforce city code looking for some help with the tumbleweed buildup.

The City of Boise says that they can't help because the land directly next to the Smith's property belongs to Boise Foothills LLC, who sold the land to the city in the first place.

According to those with the Boise Parks and Recreation, Boise Foothills LLC is made up of 52 stakeholders and is operated by an out-of-state Californian.

The Smiths said that their biggest concern is that a flame could ignite near the area, spread to the tumbleweeds, and wildfire could threaten homes.

"If you look at the foothills, it's a major fire hazard and I don't want this to keep happening to us," said Regina. "It would be nice if somebody would just do something like I mentioned. Bring the goats in."

More wind is also likely with the summer thunderstorm season. The Smiths fear that unless something is done to actively do away with the dry brush outside their home, they will have to continue to pay for the cleanup of the tumbleweeds.


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