Idaho Drought Eases as Fire Threat Grows
We would probably need a week of steady rain to break the back of the drought. At least for this summer, however. Things have greatly improved over the course of the last several weeks. If you didn’t mind snow when you're camping on Memorial Day weekend and if you’re okay with rain falling on weekends instead of workdays, we’ve come a long way.
The U.S. Drought Monitor updated its Idaho map last week. It doesn’t include moisture from this past weekend. There’s no exceptional drought listed and just four spots with extreme drought. One of those happens to be in southern Twin Falls and Owyhee Counties. The second is a crescent shape in Blaine, Butte, and Custer counties. A smaller patch near the Tetons exists and then a wider dry area in the Bear Lake region. The northern panhandle is the wettest part of the state (I’ve vacationed there and let me say in more than one way!)
Late spring moisture is welcomed by growers but has a potential downside. If we get a dry and hot summer, there’s going to be a lot more fuel for wildfires.
I spoke with an outdoorsman late last week and he explained things are incredibly green for an Idaho spring. Allow six to eight weeks of dry conditions and we’ll have more than our fair share of tinder.
I guess you can make an argument that there’s no optimum weather pattern when it comes to the threat of disaster. Droughts are slow-rolling trouble. Wildfires are fast-acting tragedies. Oh, and with the right amount of cattle grazing the land, you don’t have nearly as much fuel for a fire.