How has this year’s fire season compared to previous ones?

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 4:34 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) —A wildfire can start in a second, from one lighting strike to one flat tire, one spark can burn thousands of acres. How has this fire season been in Southern Idaho?

According to the Twin Falls District Bureau of Land Management, there hasn’t been as many fires this year as year’s past.

“For South Central Idaho it’s been slower than a typical year, we’ve only had about 14,000 acres burn and on our 10-year average we’re right around 100,000 acres, so substantially less,” said Ryan Berlin, the fire information officer with the Twin Falls BLM.

On BLM managed land, the largest fire was just last week, which was the Wedge Fire, and it ended up being 7,300 acres. That one fire alone doubled the acreage for this season.

“We haven’t had very large substantial fires like we typically do, which is a good thing, but it allows our resources to hit them fast on the initial attack phase,” said Berlin.

Because of this, more firefighters from Idaho have been able to travel to neighboring states to help in their firefighting efforts, such as California, Washington, and Oregon.

It’s not specific to BLM managed Idaho lands, Berlin says this year in general has been slower for wildfires in the entire region.

“Throughout the west it’s typically slower than it has in the past, I think we might have just hit 2 million acres nationwide which you have to go back to 1998 to find that few of acres burnt,” said Berlin.

But, as the weather begins to change, fires can still start up quickly, so he reminds everyone to remain vigilant and do their part to protect the public lands.

“The majority of our fires on Twin Falls District, about 70% are started by humans so a lot of vehicle fires that we’re finding, shooting fires, and just some careless people also,” said Berlin.