Wildfire

Nampa Fire Department

The Nampa Fire Department and the Boise Fire Department have deployed teams throughout the west this wildfire season. Nampa Fire, along with crews from Parma, Kuna and Sand Hollow, fought fires near San Francisco for 23 days. But their work didn’t end there.

 


Sawtooth National Forest / via Twitter (twitter.com/SawtoothNatlFS)

Fires in Oregon, Washington and California have blanketed the northwest in smoke. We're also six months into the coronavirus pandemic. 


Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests / InciWeb

The Mountain West has seen plenty of wildfires this year, but nothing like the catastrophic large fires still burning along the West Coast. That's largely thanks to a relatively wet spring.

U.S. Forest Service/inciweb

The Woodhead Fire is the largest of Idaho’s current wildfires. Fire managers told local community members Wednesday night that it’s grown to more than 84,000 acres and is 39% contained.


For days now, wildfire smoke has degraded the air quality in much of the Mountain West, and that unhealthy air is forcing tough decisions for schools that are trying to reopen.

 

Wildfire, fire fighter
U.S. Forest Service

Many western states are experiencing above average wildfire seasons, with nearly 4 million acres burned so far.

 


Courtesy of USDA

From grabbing a drink to going to the theatre, COVID-19 means city activities are risky. Now, many people are going to the great outdoors for recreation, which could mean a potential increase in wildfire risk.

 


Skies are hazy across the region thanks to the many wildfires burning in the West, and that smoke is more dangerous during the pandemic. 

No, it's not a sci-fi movie. A fire tornado touched down near the Nevada-California border Saturday, during the Loyalton Fire about 25 miles west of Reno, Nev.

U.S. Forest Service

The Phillips Creek fire began on August 5 with a lightning strike north of Fairfield. It grew to more than 2,000 acres and was 100% contained on August 12. But last weekend, when flames were still roaming, the fire tore right through Soldier Mountain Ski Area.

 

 


Predictive Services, NIFC

Although Idaho has yet to see any big fires this year, the risk of fire increases in August and wildland fire potential is above average. 


Colby K. Neal / BLM

This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

Lots of wildfire smoke in the summer can lead to more flu outbreaks in the winter, according to a recent study published in the peer-reviewed journal Environment International

Idaho National Laboratory

A year after a massive wildfire swept across the high-desert grasslands at the Idaho National Laboratory, the research facility is figuring out how to protect its property going forward.

 

Many parts of the Mountain West are predicted to have above normal wildfire potential this summer. The coronavirus promises to make fire season abnormal in other ways, too.

Wood River Fire and Rescue

At one point, Blaine County, home to Sun Valley, had the highest per capita rate of COVID-19 cases in the entire country. It required an all-hands-on deck response from first responders, many of whom didn’t get a break before wildfire season picked up in April. 

 

 


STR / AP Images

 

The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise has sent wildfire supression crews to help fight the Australian Bushfires. NIFC spokesperson Jessica Gardetto talks more about how countries share resources and how changing fire seasons are impacting the need for firefighters internationally. 

Rachel Cohen/Boise State Public Radio

The Camp Fire erupted in Paradise, California one year ago and displaced about 50,000 people. Many stayed in Butte County, but others moved away, in search of affordable places to live. Sunni Hutchison was evacuated last year and is now living in Twin Falls.

Katherine Jones / Idaho Statesman

Boise’s Gowen Field is home base to NASA and NOAA’s newest collaborative research project on wildfire smoke and air quality.

 

AP Images

A recent analysis by the news outlet Arizona Republic shows a number of communities across our region are at risk for deadly wildfires.

 

The Sheep Fire has burned more than 110,000 acres
Idaho National Laboratory

Update 07/26/19 9:15 a.m.: The fire, which burned 113,000 acres and was 60% contained on Thursday morning, is expected to be fully contained by Friday evening, according to the INL.

Idaho National Laboratory

Update 07/26/19 9:15 a.m.: The fire, which burned 113,000 acres and was 60% contained on Thursday morning, is expected to be fully contained by Friday evening, according to the INL.

 

Update 07/24/19 1:50 p.m.: As of Wednesday morning, the Sheep Fire has burned 110,000 acres. Non-essential employees were told not to come into work Wednesday until further notice. The INL says this is the biggest fire in the lower-48 states so far this year.

 

 

drought, field, agriculture
Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio

Much of Idaho has been untouched by drought so far this year, but dry conditions are beginning to creep in.

Flickr Creative Commons, US Department of Agriculture

When wildfires rage, it’s pretty routine to share fire suppression crews across state lines. It turns out that sharing firefighters across national borders is not uncommon either.

 

Flickr Creative Commons, John Fowler

Fire season may have started with a bang this weekend, as lightning struck across parts of south and central Idaho.

 

Inciweb

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.

 

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