Idaho Falls firefighters are among several structure strike forces that were deployed to active wildfires in western and northern Idaho.
Ammon, Burley, Iona and Swan Valley left to aid in the Kamiah and Scriver fires Sunday.
“We have so many of those fires going on in the north and in the west in Idaho right now that here on the east we’re doing pretty well so anyway we can help our brother and sister firefighters in those other parts of the state we try to do,” said Idaho Falls Fire Chief Dave Hanneman.
Hanneman said firefighters will aid in keeping fires from homes and other buildings. The Kamiah fire has torched 43,240 acres and the Scriver fire 605 acres just north of Boise. Firefighters are prepared to man these fires for at least 14 days, but current conditions could require more assistance.
“We’ve already seen many more fires in Idaho this year than and we’re just getting into the season now,” said Hanneman.
IFFD said it still has the proper personnel available to respond to local fires. The department is operating under a “draw down,” which calls for overtime shifts. Those man hours are reimbursed by the federal and state funds.
Fire officials said last year’s slow fire season and active spring showers have made way for more vegetation, which allows opportunities for fires to ignite and spread more quickly.