From California to South Dakota, the National Interagency Fire Center is predicting above average significant wildfire potential in the west, and the Gem State is no exception. While many areas in the high elevations of the Gem State and the rest of the west have avoided wildfire danger thanks to a wet winter and spring, NIFC says those areas are now primed for fire danger.
“That’s due in large part of the very warm and dry conditions we’ve been experiencing in Idaho and many parts of the west over the last month,” explained Jennifer Jones, a spokesperson for NIFC.
Fuels like dried grasses are near record levels for fire danger. So far more than 5.6 million acres have burned across the country this year alone. That’s 1.8 million acres more compared to the ten year average. In Idaho, over 250,000 acres have gone up in smoke at last check.
“And August does tend to be our peak fire season in the west. It’s also a time when we start losing some of our firefighters going back to school and other things,” said Jones.
With millions expected to travel to wildfire prone areas during the eclipse on august and nine out of ten wildfires being human caused, NIFC is asking homeowners to be prepared and the public to be vigilant.
"Just being careful with anything that can generate a spark and cause a fire. Help ensure that we have enough of our firefighters, our engines, our aircraft to respond to those wildfires that we can't prevent those that are caused by lightning," said Jones.