Fire season below average so far, but fire potential growing in western Colorado with hot, dry weather
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — So far, the wildfire season in the Rocky Mountain region has been relatively quiet, but several large brush fires are now burning in Idaho and eastern Washington.
On the White River National Forest, the Meadow Creek fire continues to burn in the backcountry northwest of Rifle. Federal officials say they are managing the Meadow Creek fore to improve wildlife habitat by clearing out dead wood and brush to make way for new growth. A web cam has been set up to monitor the fire from a distance, and the public can dial in to the White River National Forest website to get a view, with images updated every 15 minutes.
Federal fire officials say significant fire potential is predicted for southern Wyoming and western Colorado due to hot and dry conditions. Hotter and drier weather is expected over the western states. Wet and dry thunderstorms are forecasted for California, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado.
The biggest single fire is the Jefferson Fire in the Idaho Falls district, at 109,000 acres, burning grass and sagebrush.
Across the country, there are 10 large active fires burning across about 190,000 acres. The total number of fires for the season is well below average, at about 33,000 fires that have burned 1.8 million acres.
The 10-year average is about 44,000 fires (2.7 million acres). The most active fire season in the past 10 years was 2006, when 63,000 fires had burned up more than 4 million acres by this time of the year.
Get all the wildfire statistics at the National Interagency Fire Center website.