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Fire managers say to plan before burning weeds

RIGBY, Idaho (KIFI) - Our local fire departments are gearing up for Idaho's wildfire season.

There was already a large fire in Roberts over the weekend. It has since been contained, but what could the rest of the fire season look like for eastern Idaho?

Local News 8 spoke with both Jefferson County and Bureau of Land Management officials to find out.

According to Chris Burger from the Idaho Falls district of the Bureau of Land Management, there is plenty of water from the snow in our region. That means grass, bushes, and shrubs will have moist ground, but when that vegetation dries out, there's lots more fuel to burn. Burger says the next eight to 10 weeks will be very important.

"We'll likely have a delayed start to fire season. If we turn off hot and dry, then we could see an extended fire season and those fine fuels coming into being receptive to fire earlier in the year," Burger said.

Now that we know what to expect during this fire season, how can people stay safe while burning during springtime? We asked Fire Chief Carl Anderson to find out. He says the main thing is to be prepared.

"You need to have plans in place. 'Can I stop it?' 'Where am I going to stop it?' 'Have I protected any exposures?'"

He also says you should look out for what the weather might have in store.

"Always, always check the weather. If the wind's going to be blowing, you don't want to burn in [it]...heavy winds. It'll take that fire and make it run to where you cannot catch it." 

If you plan to do a burn, Anderson says you should inform the fire department in advance so they can be prepared to help if the fire gets out of hand.

The BLM also weighed in on fire risks and said not to forget that it is illegal to use fireworks, exploding targets, and steel and tracer ammunition on BLM ground in Idaho from May through October.

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Noah Farley

Noah is a reporter for Local News 8.


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