Greg Harness / Flickr Creative Commons

Prescribed burning is an important tool in a wildland firefighter’s toolbox. Crews will go out and light fires in areas that maybe haven’t burned naturally in decades.


Wildfires in the West can destroy homes and create a lot of really nasty smoke. But a new study from the University of Montana says it also helps grow some really great food for elk.

It may be autumn in a couple of days but wildfire season isn't slowing down. People living in parts of Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah remain evacuated from their homes because of nearby wildfires. And the flames are fueling another thing-private firefighting companies.

A series of small forest fires that started this week in northern Utah and southern Wyoming are being investigated as arsons.


The Idaho Department of Corrections facilitates a program allowing inmates to be trained as firefighters and deployed on the lines of some of the most intense wildfires in the West. This is a voluntary program and participants are eager to break up the monotony of prison life by making a difference in a community by battling wildfires. We'll meet with the warden of the South Idaho Correctional Institute, in Kuna, and an inmate who puts his life at risk with his crew to protect wildlands and property in the West.


The proliferation of wildfires throughout the West are forcing researchers to look at the health of American woodlands. Idaho Matters examines the future of the region's forests with Washington's Commissioner of Public Lands, Hilary Franz.

Great Basin Type 1 Incident Management Team

Firefighters are making progress in their battles against two large Idaho wildfires still minimally contained. Evacuations on one blaze, the Rattlesnake Creek Fire, have been downgraded.

  • Our team of journalists breaks down the week's headlines.
  • Idaho prison inmates are on the front lines battling wildfires.

With wildfires burning through much of the West, there’s high demand for big aircraft to come in and battle the flames from above.

Credit Idaho Department of Environmental Quality

While firefighters work to contain the multiple wildfires raging in Idaho, smoke from fires from Canada to California is pouring into the Treasure Valley. Boise State Public Radio's Frankie Barnhill and Matt Guilhem join Idaho Matters to provide updates on this season's wildfires and to run through the flag warnings around the state and air quality forecasts for the Treasure Valley.

  • Frankie Barnhill and Matt Guilhem of Boise State Public Radio News check-in with a wildfire update
  • How wildland fires are affecting outdoor Idaho weddings
  • Volunteer healthcare professionals provide free medical services for Idahoans

Idaho Department of Environmental Quality

Fires across Idaho are burning and creating smoky conditions in some regions. But the smoke from Gem State fires is just one reason for the haze blanketing much of the state.

Manbee Mignerey / Southwest Area Type 2 Incident Management Team 3

Wildfires across Idaho continue to burn through rough terrain that hasn’t seen flames in decades. One big blaze in eastern Idaho is uncontained and another in the west is growing.

Great Basin Type 1 Incident Management Team

Multiple wildfires continue to burn across Idaho. A pair of elite hotshot firefighters were injured while battling one blaze south of Riggins.

Jorgen 'John' Arnor G. Lom / Flickr

Wildfires continue to burn across Idaho as temperatures reach scorching, triple-digit highs. Firefighters say they’re getting the upper hand on one big fire, but another is raging unchecked in terrain that hasn’t burned in 80 years.