IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - As our winter blues melt away, more people are heading out to the great outdoors. Although there may be green already in sight, Fire Bureau Chief Josh Harvey tells us it's a perfect place for wildfires.
"It's very easy during the springtime, the green grass that's out there right now is deceiving. There's a lot of dead material underneath of it. The brush is nice and green the flowers are pretty, but there's still a lot of dead material on the ground, and that material will very readily carry fire and spread into the forest and in those fires are absolutely devastating like everybody's seen in years past," Harvey said.
'Don't let your summer go up in smoke' is this year's motto to remember fire prevention. Harvey says remembering simple steps could make a big impact.
"The biggest thing the public can do is to help us out by being extremely careful when they're out in the woods, whether they're in their backyard burning debris and just doing spring cleanup, or recreating in the national forests and then on parklands and state land to be extremely careful with their activities."
Harvey says being careful means staying on designated roads and trails, fully extinguishing campfires, and only setting off fireworks at approved times and places.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, preventing wildfires can not only prevent firefighters and emergency responders from getting sick through community exposure, but it can also be a big help to those who are high risk in our community.
"With the added impact of smoke and the pandemic of COVID. You know that does add problems with people that have respiratory illnesses, and so the more smoke that we can keep out of the air as idahoans, the more we're playing our part and doing our part."