Slower fire season in Idaho and across the country

Posted at 4:16 PM, Jul 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-20 07:42:07-04
Idaho has already seen big wildfires in 2016, one right in Boise's backyard. But compared to last year, officials at the National Interagency Fire Center say this season is moving at a slower tempo in Idaho. 
"We've experienced approximately 250 wildfires that have burned roughly 11,000 acres," explained Robyn Broyles of the National Interagency Fire Center. "If we compare that to all of last year, Idaho experienced just over 1,300 wildfires that burned over 800,000 acres."
This slower tempo is not just being seen in Idaho but is a national trend. According to NIFC, as of today close to 30,000 wildfires have burned 2.2 million acres nationwide. While it may seem like a lot, at this time last year, 3.3 million acres had already gone up in smoke. 
"That's our 10-year average so we're definitely below tempo this year," said Broyles.
The biggest reason for this slow down? NIFC says it's all because of a strong snow pack. In some places, including here in Idaho, the snow pack was over 130% of normal.  
"And then that was followed by an early spring as least for fires here in the west. We had lower activity that attributed to not as many fires."
But with plenty of summer left and now bone-dry fuels in some areas, more wildfires could still spark up in Idaho.