How you can prepare for the above-normal expected fire season

Wildfires ravage Northern California
Posted at 4:52 PM, Jun 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-15 10:32:12-04

IDAHO — The National Interagency Fire Center is predicting an above-normal fire season in Idaho, and there are things you should do to prepare for it now.

The warmer and drier conditions in Idaho are one of the reasons for this above-normal fire potential. High temperatures, like those expected this week, are unusual for this time of year, and the state of Idaho is experiencing different levels of drought.

In Ada County, things are abnormally dry, but in the Magic Valley, drought conditions range from moderate to exceptional.

Fires can be started by a number of factors, including your car.

“The Bureau of Land Management Boise District’s ten-year average points to vehicle-related fires as our number one cause over the last ten years each fire season, and that can be from UTVs, motorcycles, vehicles on the highway, trailers,” said Jared Jablonski, a BLM fire information officer.

Ways to prevent this include checking the chain on your trailer, monitoring tire pressure, and not pulling over onto dry vegetation if you experience car problems on the road. Chains and tire rims can create sparks if they hit the road, which can ignite a fire, and the underside of your car can get hot, which could start a fire if the car is on dry vegetation.

Other ways to prevent a fire on public lands, according to BLM include:

  • Don't use fireworks, incendiary or tracer ammunition, or exploding targets
  • Use caution when target shooting
  • Carry extra water and a shovel or a fire extinguisher with you outdoors
  • Make sure your campfire is fully extinguished before you leave your campsite
  • If you start a fire, call 911

There are also things you can do now to prepare your home for wildfire season:

  • Clear your roof and gutters of pine needles, leaves, and branches regularly to avoid accumulation of flammable material
  • Space landscape vegetation so fire can't carry to your house
  • Maintain a fuel break around all structures
  • Keep garden hose connected to the outlet
  • Keep all combustibles like firewood, picnic tables, boats, etc. away from structures
  • Keep fire tools handy including a ladder long enough to reach the roof

You can find more ways to protect your home and prepare for a wildfire by clicking here. BLM also recommends for those living in the wildland-urban interface, to know their access and egress routes and to have an emergency plan.