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Indian Springs 2 Fire

Bureau of Land Management firefighters mop up a fire Wednesday, June 28, 2017, near Indian Springs Recreation Area South of Kimberly.

BOISE — A bill from a Magic Valley lawmaker would let firefighters use ground water without a water right.

Senate Bill 1050 from Sen. Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson, would allow groundwater to be diverted and used at any time, with or without a water right, for firefighting. Currently, firefighters can only divert and use water from a natural watercourse.

The bill advanced through the House Resources and Conservation Committee on Wednesday; it already passed the Senate on a 35-0 vote.

Paul Arrington, director of the Idaho Water Users Association, gave testimony in favor of the bill Wednesday.

“I think this is a good, common-sense bill,” Arrington said.

Rep. Sally Toone, a Democrat from Gooding, will carry the bill on the House floor.

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