Fire managers ask everyone to be extra cautious this summer

Posted at 5:51 PM, Jun 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-24 20:05:41-04

Eighty percent of wildfires in the Treasure Valley on Bureau of Land Management public lands are human caused, which is why fire crews are asking that everyone do their part this summer.

They say it's especially important this year since fire seasons are now busier and longer.

As we head into the dry summer, experts say it's not a question of if wildfires will break out, it's when.

"Anytime in the Western United States we have a normal fire season, really even a below normal fire season, you're going to see fires," says Jeremy Sullens, national wildfire analyst for predictive services at the National Interagency Fire Center. "It just depends on where those happen to occur."

With plenty of "fire fuels" thanks to a wet Spring, area fire crews are equipped and fully staffed. They have predicted an above normal risk of significant fire potential for the 2016 fire season.

Those with the local U.S. Forest Service office say there are heavy grass crops in areas they haven't seen growth in for the past ten years.

Preparing for an influx in 9-1-1 calls once the temperature soars and recreation picks up, fire managers can't stress enough the need to be extra cautious this year. They say the majority of wildfires in our area are human caused.

Mechanical break downs, catalytic converters and dragging chains tend to start fires.

"They have no intention of doing it, they think they're doing the right things," says Andy Delmas, fire management officer for the Boise BLM district. "It's taking that extra caution, being aware of your surroundings... and being really diligent about putting your campfire out and really diligent about where you park."

Intentional or not, anyone who is found to be responsible for starting a fire could face a hefty bill, one that foots the costs associated with stomping it out.

For example, Idaho Department of Lands managers use aircraft a lot because of the steep terrain they're up against. It's a combat tool they say is affective in saving homes but one that doesn't come at a low cost.

The other thing you can do to help out is to report wildfires immediately.

The sooner firefighters can get there, the more likely they will be able to get it under control.

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