Forecasters are predicting significant wildfire activity this summer across the southwestern U.S. and in Florida, Georgia, plus some parts of California and Nevada.
Officials with the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise said Monday, in their 2017 summer fire outlook, that heavy winter snow and spring rains will probably delay the onset of this season's worst wildfires.
"In the Great Basin area, in Idaho in particular, we're expecting more of a normal fire season in the lower and middle elevations," Assistant National Fire Weather Program Manager Bryan Henry said. "We're expecting the growth of a very healthy grass crop. That could become problematic come July as things dry out and cure out, because it only takes about two weeks for the fuels to dry and cure and become ready to burn."
The snow and rain is helping decrease the potential for wildfires in other parts of the country.
The risk of significant wildfires in northwestern states, Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Wyoming and most of Utah is expected to be normal or below normal from May through August.
Florida and southeastern Georgia are already facing an increase in wildfires because of persistent dry conditions.
The fire outlook is released at the beginning of every month and is available here.
(by Associated Press)