Following a nearly record-breaking fire season in 2021, Idaho officials are preparing for yet another potentially severe season as warming April temperatures begin to melt the winter snowpack leaving the state susceptible to early dangers. April is also the month when many homeowners begin to clear defensible space around their property.

We are now less than two weeks away from the start of May. May is the month we typically see the majority of southern Idaho snow completely melt off, according to data compiled on The National Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook. Drought will continue to be the major cause of above-normal fire dangers in the northwest United States between now and June.

Despite some promising snow accumulation in the early months of winter this year, southern Idaho experienced a relatively disappointing season as far as snowpack is concerned. This lack of snow will result in the region being at more of a risk for an early fire season. More than 500,000 acres burned resulting from more than 1,200 wildfires in Idaho in 2021, according to data from the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise.

Human-caused and weather-related fires account for a large number of blazes in Idaho and nationwide. The Idaho Bureau of Land Management oversees roughly 12 million acres of wildland statewide, and coordinates with state fire departments, universities, tribal leaders, and other Idaho agencies to assist with fire fighting efforts.

The best practice people can take part in now is the clearing of defensible space. This means removing shrubs, trimming trees back from homes, and removing areas that could potentially be susceptible to radiant heat from fires. For more tips on how to manage your property in defense of wildfires, click here.

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