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Friday, July 21, 2017

BLM urges caution, wildfire prevention during August solar eclipse

For Immediate Release: July 19, 2017
Contact: Kelsey Griffee, kgriffee@blm.gov, 208-521-8709
***Spanish translation of news release attached***

BLM urges caution, wildfire prevention during August solar eclipse
Twitter: @BLMIdahoFire
(#EclipseAcrossID17 #IdahoEclipse2017 & BLMIFDFire)

Idaho Falls, ID – The allure of a solar eclipse will attract many visitors to Idaho during the driest time of the year. This influx of visitors into fire-prone public lands within the eclipse’s path of totality could result in an increase of human-caused fire starts, while making it harder for fire personnel to suppress these wildfires. The Bureau of Land Management is taking preventive steps to educate residents and eclipse chasers about this concern.
 “While the eclipse lasts for minutes, many people will be recreating for days before and after the event,” said Kevin Conran, fire mitigation and education manager with the BLM Idaho Falls District. “We want to ensure that thousands of Idahoans and visitors have a positive and enjoyable experience while keeping wildfire safety in mind.”
 Residents will notice an increase in prevention messaging along Idaho’s major roadways in effort to reduce human-caused wildfires. The Idaho Falls District has also established a prevention and education team who will launch a community outreach campaign targeting other wildfire causes, including fireworks and sky lanterns, campfires, parking on dry grass and dragging trailer chains. The team is made up of skilled personnel who will support ongoing local wildfire prevention and education activities in areas where human-caused fire occurrence or risk is elevated. The campaign’s goal is to change behavior, teaching individuals to take personal responsibility for reducing wildfire risks.
For tips on wildland fire prevention and community preparedness, visit www.idahofirewise.org or http://fireadapted.org/.
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