NIFC

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

With fall approaching and the weather starting to change, many of the big wildfires across the West are being tamed. 


NASA via AP

The Martin Fire has scorched almost 700 square miles north of Winnemucca. Much of that land is owned by the Bureau of Land Management.

hikinghillman / Flickr

While daytime highs across Idaho flirt with freezing, Los Angeles is parked in the low 80s and getting blown away with gusting Santa Ana winds. The dry heat and sustained windy conditions are primary drivers of the numerous fires engulfing the region.

NIFC Fire Center Smoke Jumpers
Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The National Interagency Fire Center, based in Boise, is playing an integral role in getting resources to Northern California to fight wildfires there that have claimed more than 20 lives.


NIFC

The National Interagency Fire Center issued its Fire Potential Outlook this week. With the harsh winter depositing plenty of snow in the mountains, the risk of fire for the next few months in the upper elevations should be reduced.

Across Idaho, NIFC is predicting a slow start to the fire season – especially in the mountains, according to Bryan Henry. The manager at NIFC’s Predictive Serives says reserves of mountain snow from the winter are melting slowly.

InciWeb

As hot and dry summer weather continues, land officials hope expanded Stage 1 fire restrictions will keep new human-caused wildfires to a minimum. Parts of Twins Falls, Blaine, Camas and Cassia counties will be affected. Campfires must be within designated campground or other recreation sites, and outdoor smoking will also be limited.

 

An official at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise say there are no plans right now to send resources to Canada to help fight wildfires burning in Alberta.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

More than 70 firefighters from Australia and New Zealand arrived in Boise Sunday to help fight wildfires burning throughout the Northwest. They are currently at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise for training and will deploy later this week. Area fire managers requested their help last week, following a rash of large fires that have stretched American resources very thin.

Boise National Forest/USFS

The National Interagency Fire Center is calling on 200 active-duty military troops to help fight roughly 95 wildfires burning across the West.

Officials with the Boise-based agency made the announcement Monday. The troops will begin training Wednesday and are expected to be ready for action Sunday. They will be mobilized for a month. NIFC officials say previous call-ups have included more soldiers, but that the smaller force will be ready sooner. 

This is the first time NIFC has mobilized active duty military members for fire suppression efforts since 2006.

U.S. Forest Service

Drones are a growing concern for those who fight the nation’s wildfires, and the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise is again asking those who fly drones to keep them away from fires.

Twice last week, aerial firefights on the San Bernardino National Forest in southern California had to be suspended because of nearby Unmanned Aircraft Systems, or UAS.   

Helen K / Flickr Creative Commons

Heads of federal agencies in charge of fighting wildfires say northern Idaho will have one of the worst fire seasons in the country this year. Arizona, California and Alaska are already experiencing a severe fire season. But much of the rest of the West is currently at low risk because of wet spring weather. However, Forest Service chief Tom Tidwell said in a briefing Tuesday, as the summer progresses, the fire danger zones will shift.  

Sally Jewell, sage grouse
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell met with Idaho state officials, fire managers and ranchers Tuesday about a new strategy to protect greater sage grouse habitat from wildfire. The 82-page plan is part of a larger effort among 11 western states trying to keep the threatened bird off the Endangered Species List. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will decide whether to list the bird in September.

InciWeb / http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3635/

It's still at least three months away, but it looks as though Idaho’s wildfire season should be fairly normal in 2014. Ed Delgado manages predictive services at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise.

“We’ve got good snowpack right now and assuming it melts off fairly regularly over the next couple of months, that’s going to be good for the soils especially in the mountain areas,” Delgado says. “So that’s going to kind of prolong the wet period.”

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

A coalition of Congressional Democrats and Republicans gathered in Boise Monday to tout a proposal that would change the way the federal government pays for firefighting operations in the West and beyond.   

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell joined Sen. Mike Crapo, R-ID, Sen. Jim Risch, R-ID, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-OR, Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-OR, Rep. Raul Labrador, R-ID, and Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise.

Boise National Forest

Idaho's wildfire season is ramping up, and that means there will be a lot of rapidly changing information about fire activity into the fall.

We've compiled a list of agencies, organizations and journalists who regularly tweet about fires in the region.

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