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Fire officials talk preparedness ahead of fire season

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - Officials are predicting an "above average" fire season.

Chris Burger, with the BLM Idaho Falls district, says the four-month outlook published by the National Interagency Fire Center, shows an increase as the summer goes on.

"We are going to be about average for fire potential through the month of June. Increasing [to above average] through July, August, and September," Burger said.

Fire season got off to a hot start this year, seeing large fires like the Lava Side fire much earlier in the year than normal, says Sarah Wheeler with Caribou-Targhee National Forest.

"Particularly here in eastern Idaho where we have a lot of fire fuel loading from last year that didn't burn," Wheeler said. "That, with the lack of participation this year, is still on the ground, and we didn't see a really good green up this year."

Burger says most of the fires we've seen this year are human caused. And with that in mind, there are things everyone can do when enjoying the outdoors.

"When they're out recreating, they need to pay attention to their fires, make sure they're cold to the touch, not build fires in areas where there's grass in and around the fire ring," Burger said. "They need to make sure they're drowning their fires, stirring."

People also need to pay attention to the weather, Burger said.

"Watch the weather," Burger said. "Know those extremely hot dry days definitely increase the potential for starts, and will help support fire growth when we do get those starts."

Burger also reminds homeowners to be firewise, and follow landscaping guidelines.

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Rachel Fabbi

Rachel Fabbi is a reporter, anchor and producer for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.

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