Nevada Wildfire Burns Through Prime Sage Grouse Habitat

Jul 16, 2018

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

Don Smurthwaite with is BLM Idaho, and says the wildfire charred prime sage grouse habitat.

“We know that the Martin Fire did burn through some of the better habitat for sage grouse that we have in northern Nevada," says Smurthwaite, "so that’s a big concern for all of us right now.”

Smurthwaite says although Idaho has so far not seen the same kind of wildfire activity on rangeland this year, grasses in lower elevations are dry and ready to burn.

“We haven’t had a lot of lightning so far and so that’s been a good thing. But really what stands between us and perhaps a very troublesome fire season is just that source of ignition.”

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, wildfire risk increases across southern Idaho this week.

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

Copyright 2018 Boise State Public Radio