It could be worse.  Wildfire season will continue for several more weeks.  A wet spring and dry summer have created abundant fuel.  While the season looks mild compared to some past years, Idaho is still third in the nation when it comes to scorched earth.

Idaho is third nationally, according to figures compiled by the National Interagency Fire Center.

Alaska has fared poorly, with about ten times more acreage burned than Idaho.  It’s also a much larger state.  Idaho is third nationally, according to figures compiled by the National Interagency Fire Center.  You can get all sorts of background at this link.

As we head for September, the outlook in Southern Idaho is moderate risk.  What could set some tinder ablaze would be a series of rolling thunderstorms.  The massive ones that passed over a few weeks ago created some brilliant flashes of lightning.  There was some great relief when people rose Saturday morning and found a wide swath of the state wasn’t burning.

There are some concerns many of the fires from last year and the wet spring are responsible for the steep decline in sage grouse.  If it’s a major cause in the drop in population, a milder season could restore some numbers for next year.

One last quick safety note.  A couple of weeks ago, a spokeswoman at Bureau of Land Management shared with me a fire can advance hundreds of feet in a matter of seconds.  Especially if it’s aided by wind.  We’ve had some windy days this summer but from my own anecdotal observation, even the wind has so far been our friend.

Courtesy, National Interagency Fire Center.