Wildfire season heating up across Idaho, nation

IDL’s Teakean hand crew deployed in Alaska.
IDL’s Teakean hand crew deployed in Alaska. Photo by Jen Russell, Idaho Department of Lands.

Nationwide, there are 60 large wildfires and complexes. Idaho Department of Lands firefighters and support staff are in Alaska assisting with the 172 active wildfires across that state.

Currently, Idaho has no large fires, allowing IDL crews to aid fires in other states. Incident Commander Julia Lauch leads a Type 3 Incident Management Team currently deployed in Alaska and also serves as IDL Fire Deputy Chief of Operations. Additionally, IDL’s Teakean hand crew is deployed in Alaska, where they are constructing fireline and performing related tasks.

“This is an example of the type of opportunities available to Idaho Department of Lands wildland firefighters,” said Idaho Department of Lands Director Dustin Miller. “It benefits all of Idaho because it goes both ways – other states can help boost our wildfire efforts when we need it. I greatly appreciate our firefighters stepping up to help other states in need.”

Preventing unwanted human-caused wildfires is critical as Idaho heats up and outdoor recreation and 4th of July fun begins. Idaho’s Fire Prevention Officer Jen Russell has the following guidelines for weekend recreation. Get the latest from #FirePreventionJen by following IDL’s Facebook Page.

Here’s what you can do to prevent wildfires:

  • Always Monitor Your Campfire: Never leave it unattended, even for a short time
  • Keep Water and a Shovel Nearby: In case of emergency, you can quickly extinguish the flames
  • Fully Extinguish Before Leaving: Pour water, stir the ashes, and repeat until it’s cold to the touch

Wildfires are ignited by fireworks

  • Fireworks have no place on public lands, they are illegal on all federal lands
  • Even on your own property they must be handled with serious care

“Let’s not let our summer go up in smoke,” Russell said. “We can all have fun and be responsible stewards of the gem of a state we have here in Idaho.”