BOISE, Idaho — Firefighters with the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) have already responded to 99 wildfires on state and private lands protected by the IDL. So far this year, the fires have burned 433 acres on these lands.
IDL firefighters and Clearwater-Potlatch Timber Protective Association and Southern Idaho Timber Protective Association crews have held 90 fires to less than 10 acres. Many of the fires were contained at less than an acre, according to IDL.
“It’s early in the fire season, and we’ve already seen three times as many acres burned this year over the 20-year average,” said Josh Harvey, IDL’s Fire Bureau Chief. “Unfortunately, 95% of these fires were human-caused and could have been prevented. We are ready to suppress fires, but we need the public to help us by not starting wildfires.”
According to meteorologists with the National Interagency Fire Center, 80% of Idaho is currently in drought. The rest of the state will likely be in drought in the next several months.
Controlling fires quickly will save natural resources and tax dollars. The number of fires to date and drought conditions show the 2021 fire season may be challenging.