EAGLE -- A grass fire, which burned 4 acres near the Shadow Valley Golf Course Wednesday evening, was ignited by a man trying to smoke a badger out of a culvert, according to the Ada County Sheriff's Office.
The fire sparked shortly before 5:30 p.m. near the intersection of Spring Creek Way and West Stack Rock Road. That area is just northeast of the golf course in the foothills.
Ada County Sheriff's Office spokesman Patrick Orr tells KTVB that just before the fire started, a man lit a smoke bomb and put it into a culvert. The wind shifted causing the grass near the culvert to ignite.
The man then called 911 to report what happened, Orr said.
The fire burned next to about a dozen homes. Fire crews from Eagle, Star, Boise, and Meridian fought the fire on the ground, while helicopters and a single-engine plane provided by the Bureau of Land Management attacked the blaze from the air.
A First Person picture sent by Nick Dhaenens shows a helicopter dipping a bucket into one of the golf course ponds.
Firefighters say crews benefited from landowners who had defensible space around their property.
Local homeowners were a major help, Eagle Fire Chief Mike Winkle said. Access (to the fire) was a big issue, but a lot of those homeowners have horses and livestock, so the grass was graded down pretty well.
It took crews about two hours to contain the fire.
No people or livestock were hurt and no structures burned in the blaze.
Orr said no decisions have been made if officials will seek financial restitution from the man trying to smoke the badger out of the culvert.