Fire Outlook for the C-PTPA Local Area
The fire outlook for our local area could potentially be high this season. The winter snow pack was below average approximately 43 % in the Clearwater Idaho area through Southern Idaho and 87 % in the Idaho Panhandle area. The annual spring precipitation is a little below normal. The recent flash floods around this region still has not made a difference to catch up to normal annual precipitation levels. This season’s spring burning recorded some very active fire behavior in May and June (see ERC Chart for local weather station in Northern Idaho) that gave many agencies and private consulting firms some holding problems and increased cost to patrol and mop up units. The Association suppressed a 43 acre fire in mid-June on a lower valley bottom south aspect slope. This size of fire or the number of ignitions in June is not the norm for this area.
This area is currently experiencing lightning activity almost weekly and with the extreme high temperatures that we are experiencing the probability of fire ignitions is very high. Fire season is very hard to predict due to number of factors for our area. It will all depend on the weather and how well our fire prevention program is working to minimize unwanted human caused fires for our area.
The start of this year’s fire season is off to a bad one nationally with the recent fatalities from the Prescott, Arizona area. The loss of 19 fire fighters is very tragic and one that each agency needs to keep in mind to always put fire fighter safety first while engaging in fire suppression activities.
Have a safe fire season!
Len H Young was recently named the Chief Fire Warden for Clearwater-Potlatch Timber Protective Association (C-PTPA). He has a Bachelor Degree in Forest Resource Management from the University of Idaho and previously worked for the Idaho Department of Lands.