Twists and Turns in this years Wildfire Season

Twists and Turns in this years Wildfire Season

16 September 2010

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USA —  From the Bureau of Land Management the U.S. Forest Service, all the way to local volunteer fire departments, fire fighters battling blazes in southern Idaho this year have seen more than a few twists and turns.

Cool, wet springs like the ones we’ve had in recent years are a mixed blessing for fire fighters.

More grasses grow that end up being even more fuel for potential fires, but sometimes the April and May weather postpones them.

Chris Simonson, BLM Fire Management Officer says, “It tends to just push the fire season out a little bit. So instead of having a real active season in mid–July, it’s pushed off a month or so until mid–August. That’s what we saw this year.”

Simonson says fires are usually started 50–50 by humans and lightning; but this summer, humans caused only about 25 percent of the 55 BLM fires so far this year.

Simonson says when it comes to the end of this year’s fire season; we’re not out of the woods yet.

He says fires in southern Idaho could start pretty easily for another month.

Simonson says in the case of BLM fires like the Long Butte Fire, that local fire departments shouldn’t wait for the BLM to call them out, to protect their own communities.

He says, “Our message is and conversations we’re having with departments is, don’t wait! If they’re getting calls and they need to respond, they have every right and responsibility to do so.”

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