Wildfire season is upon us here in Idaho, and we all need to do our part to mitigate the risk of wildfires all over the state.
“Idaho is a fire state,” Kelsey Griffee, the fire mitigation and education specialist with the Idaho Bureau of Land Management said. “Especially since we live in a sagebrush ecosystem…that burns pretty readily.”
Griffee said that in Idaho, the most common region for wildfires is the southern part of the state, with Eastern Idaho also being a hazardous area, given the dry land on this side of the state.
Griffee said the most common causes of wildfires in Idaho include:
- Dragging chains along roads
- Target shooting (even more so with explosive targets)
- General campfires
Idaho has had a handful of wildfires already in 2020, and the fire season usually extends until sometime in the Fall.
Griffee said the best thing people can do to mitigate the risk of wildfires can be small and simple.
“Just be responsible when going out to public lands,” Griffee said.
She asked that people tighten their chains when hauling something, to avoid sparks on the roadway, as well as make sure tires are inflated and wheel bearings are greased.
As a reminder to anyone who may recreate on public lands this summer, fireworks are illegal on public lands, even just having them on one’s person is illegal.
Fireworks are a staple of fun for so many people, but currently, there is no reason to be lighting them off, especially during fire season, according to Griffee.
“Most fireworks in Idaho are not a good idea, especially in July,” Griffee said. “There is no reason to be shooting those off right now.”
All people are encouraged to bring a shovel, water and a fire extinguisher with them when recreating anywhere in Idaho. Wildfires can spread in minutes and having those around could be the difference between a little flare-up to a 911 call.
“We live in an area that is surrounded by beautiful country, and that beautiful country ignites easily …in the summer,” Griffee said. “It’s important to do your part to protect your community.”
For more information on fire safety and mitigation in Idaho, click here.