With below average fire season, Idaho firefighters deployed to neighboring states

Posted at 5:14 PM, Jun 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-28 19:15:08-04

While wildfires continue burning across the southwest, officials say Idaho's fire season has ben relatively tame, thanks to a strong snow pack, which means our firefighters are lending a hand to neighboring states. 

"Typically, firefighters who are stationed in an area that's not extremely busy will go to other areas where they are experiencing more fire activity," said Jessica Gardetto, spokesperson for the National Interagency Fire Center. "It works well in that we can trade resources around and make sure that we have areas that are having extreme fire activity covered."

NIFC says about 1,245 Idaho-based firefighters have been sent to assist with wildfires in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Washington, Oregon and California. 

But firefighting doesn't just happen on scene -- employees are fighting fires nationwide from inside NIFC's Coordination Center. 

"There are dispatchers in the coordination center and they move helicopters, air tankers, firefighters and any other resource that's associated with fighting fire to wildfires all over the country, and sometimes even to other countries," Gardetto said. 

So far this season, dispatchers have deployed four hotshot crews, 38 hand crews, 50 engines and 200 fire managers to extinguish flames across the west.