Idaho’s wet and cool start to summer has calmed some usual fears about our dangerous, dry lands. However, it may be too soon to tell how severe this year's fires may be.
The fire risk across most of Idaho has remained low to average heading into July. The northern tip of the state is at risk for an above-normal season beginning next month.
However, increased plant growth may lead to more fuel for fires later this summer. This, paired with higher temperatures and lower humidity, creates ideal conditions for fire.
Carrie Bilbao with the National Interagency Fire Center, or NIFC, says human-caused fires are something to be concerned about, even with the untraditionally cool and wet spring.
“Any little spark can start a fire," says Bilbao. "So we're definitely concerned about that, especially this time of year with fireworks and just generally people being out recreating.”
According to NIFC, the average fire size for the lower 48 states has dropped this year to below 1 million acres. Idaho remains unsure of our summer fires this year, but Bilbao says it's best to keep aware of the potential for a big burn.
“We’re waiting but it could just come on us really quickly,"says Bilbao.
Predicted hotspots for the rest of the country include most of the West Coast, Arizona, the southeastern U.S. and much of Alaska.
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