TWIN FALLS, Idaho — As the Magic Valley enters its hottest week of the year, fire departments concern grows over potential wildfires.
A mixtures of red flag warnings and high heat have raised the attention of local fire stations ready to respond if a wildfire breaks out. With dry conditions and days with high wind, the spread could be faster than usual.
“Dry grass just carries fire rapidly and its very susceptible to burn. Over the last few weeks, it's dramatically gone from green to brown in a very rapid procession,” said Fire Chief Aaron Zent of the Rock Creek Fire Department.
Small sparks caused by recreational shooting, smoldering campfires, and dragging vehicle chains can create wildfires in an instant and Zent said people should be aware of rising temperatures during this time of the year.
“Look at the weather forecast if you’re going to do any burning if it’s a red flag warning, we ask that you don’t burn on red flag warning days because the chance of spread is very great, and it puts us and yourself at risk,” he said.
Focusing on red flag warning days is key to preventing wildfires. Red flag warning days can be issued when a number of weather related patterns show up. Things like high temperatures, low humidity, lightning, high winds, and other weather connected events can cause wildfires to spread rapidly.
“It doesn’t mean that there will be a fire but if there is a fire that starts the chances of it burning rapidly and growing quickly is very high,” said Zent.
For more information on wildfires and how to prevent them, click here.