Friday, June 18, 2021

Silverwood increases security after arson try

Staff Writer | June 8, 2021 1:07 AM

Silverwood Theme Park is bolstering security after someone tried to set fire to a roller coaster early Saturday.

"We're increasing our perimeter technology and increased our night security to make sure this doesn’t happen again," Jordan Carter, Silverwood's director of marketing, said Monday.

Carter said someone cut through Silverwood's fence off Brunner Road about 1:30 a.m. and then ran a line of gasoline to Timber Terror, one of the park's two wooden coasters, set it on fire and fled.

Night security personnel saw the glow, ran over and doused the flames with a fire extinguisher. Carter said there was minimal damage thanks to the quick response of security.

Crews replaced some damaged boards and Timber Terror was open Saturday.

He said they're reviewing security footage around the park from that morning for any suspicious activity.

Carter said Timber Terror and Tremors, the other wooden coaster, have irrigation systems that run the length of the track.

"With something like this, we would have been able to use that to put it out," he said.

The wood is also treated, so the fire would not have easily spread.

Carter said they have no suspects. When asked if it was a little unsettling someone would go to such an extent to try and burn Timber Terror, he said yes.

"We don't want to hear about someone breaking in, let alone damaging our rides," he said.

Timber Terror was Silverwood's first roller coaster, arguably the park's signature ride easily visible to passersby on U.S. 95, that opened in 1996.

With a 42-inch height requirement for children with an adult, it is often an introduction for youth to the world of large, rolling rollercoasters with ups and downs and sharp turns.

Twenty-five years after its debut, it remains one of Silverwood's most popular attractions, with 2,700 feet of track and a top speed of 55 mph.

"A lot of people love that ride," Carter said.

The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office is asking anyone who saw any suspicious vehicles or persons in the area of Silverwood near the time of the incident, to call them, 208-446-1300.