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Idaho Fire Incident Map

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Slow Start to Fire Season in the Intermountain Region

Fire season has started slowly for 2019 in the Intermountain Region with fire size staying minimal due to the cooler temperatures and higher fuel moisture. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. Conditions are starting change in favor of fire so do not be caught off guard. Cooler than normal temperatures and wetter spring conditions have played a part in holding the fire season at bay but these conditions have also helped grow the fine fuels such as grass, which become highly flammable once they dry.

Fine fuels across the region are starting to dry out and cure with hotter and dryer conditions this creates trends that are decreasing steadily. A ridge of high pressure with hotter and dryer conditions will be present with temperatures 5-10 degrees above normal and a low relative humidity will move over the region this week. Isolated dry lightning will be present itself by the end of the week.
The Great Basin and National Interagency Coordination Center are currently at a Preparedness level 2. Five preparedness levels exists and are determined by fuel and weather conditions, fire activity and availability of resources. One is the lowest rating and five is the highest. Each Preparedness Level 1-5 has specific management directions to follow. As the Preparedness Levels rise, more federal and state employees become available for fire mobilization if needed.
Preparedness Level 2-What does it mean?
Geographic Areas that are experiencing active fires are unable to accomplish incident management objectives without outside support but at a national level resources are capable of sustaining incident operations and meet objectives in support of the active geographic area. Significant wildland fire activity is increasing in a few geographic areas. Currently, Alaska is at a preparedness level 5 and the Southwest is at preparedness level 3. Resources within most geographic areas are adequate to manage the current situation, with light to moderate mobilization of resources occurring through the National Interagency Coordination Center and potential for emerging significant wildland fires is normal to below normal for the time of year.