BOISE — Wildfire risk remains on the horizon and local agencies are preparing.
That was the consensus Tuesday night at a FEMA Wildfire Readiness Briefing at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise.
"Fortunately, as we are here today there is no wildfires that are burning here in Idaho. However, that does not mean that we are without risk," Deanne Criswell, FEMA Administrator, said at the press conference.
Currently there are 16 active large fires burning in the U.S. — 10 are burning in Alaska, four in New Mexico, one in Colorado and one in Arizona. Only one of these fires is contained in New Mexico.
As of Wednesday, over two million acres have burned in the county, the second highest acreage burned in the past 10 years for this year-to-date.
"We know that wildfire is not seasonal any longer. They are a year round threat due to the increasing risks we are experiencing from climate change and we can not shy away from the work we need to do mitigate the future risk that we may be expecting," Criswell said.
In the southwestern valleys of Idaho, days that are hot, dry and windy — also known as fire weather days — have increased by about three weeks over the past five decades.
In this region, over 80% of wildfires are caused by human bevaior according to Bureau of Land Management Fire Mitigation Specialist Jared Jablonski.