Idaho’s Worst Fire Season Ever?
Governor Little declared that the 2021 fire season could be the worst season the Gem State has faced in years. He made his comments and Idaho and federal folks at a press conference at the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC).
The governor's goal urges Idahoans to be safe and innovative outdoors to minimize the risk of wildfire during what could be the worst fire season Idaho has faced in years. He released his concerns in a press release saying.
"Idaho has been fortunate in recent years to avoid the devastating kind of fire seasons other states have faced, but this year could be different," Governor Little said. "On top of extreme drought in many parts of Idaho, we are in the middle of a prolonged, regional excessive heatwave. Fires burning in other states are putting strain on the availability of firefighting resources across the West. Just last week, I signed an emergency declaration and mobilized Idaho National Guard firefighters and aircraft to assist the Idaho Department of Lands in the northern part of the state."
The governor was joined by the director Dustin Miller of the Idaho Department of Lands. He shared his concerns, "we are seeing unprecedented wildfire conditions in Idaho right now with no relief from sweltering, dry conditions in the forecast," he said. "The biggest issue we face right now is extremely limited resources to manage these fires, including a lack of aircraft and crews on the ground. We typically tap into our shared resources during these times, but they have very limited availability due to fires in our neighboring states. The public can help by avoiding any outdoor activity that could spark a human-caused fire."
The state is already under Stage I and Stage II fire restrictions. Additionally, fire managers expect to announce that additional areas of Idaho will enter conditions in the coming days. Governor Little said we all need to do our part to follow what fire managers are asking of us.
"Idaho entered the fire season prepared as we always are – with additional investments in the Idaho Department of Lands fire program – but Idaho will only get through this fire season if we all do our part not to unintentionally start fires," Governor Little added.
If you'd like to keep updated on the latest fire safety information, the state has a new site to help you. The IDL just unveiled a new interactive tool this week to help the public better track and understand fire restrictions. It is available at https://www.idl.idaho.gov/fire-management/fire-restrictions-finder/.