LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

BOISE-- As fire crews tackled several small grass fires over the course of the weekend, those with the Boise District Bureau of Land Management said the ingredients for an active fire season are already here.

The Boise BLM is now staffed seven days a week to respond fires when they start.

Steve Acarregui, the assistant fire marshall with the Boise BLM, talked with KTVB about this year s outlook. He said there was little fuel growth in southern Idaho and into Nevada. However, north of the Snake River, moisture levels are three to four weeks behind what they usually are.

Acarregui said that mean there are more fuels that could catch a spark.

It's not just the grass that's available, the brush is now available to burn, he said. It's usually not available to burn until later on.

Since the beginning of June, crews have responded to grass fires ranging from one acre to dozens of acres.

However, Acarregui said the situation is especially alarming when they start to respond to thousand-acre fires like they did last week near Celebration Park in Melba.

It burnt the brush 100 percent down to the root system, he said. We usually don t see that until end of June, first of July.

Boise BLM is fully staffed with about 113 firefighters ready for the season and brushing up on their firefighting techniques.

This year is our turn to do a national review, Acarregui said.

Every year, firefighters do a preparedness review to ensure all men and women on the fire lines are up to speed on the techniques and equipment.

They will do hose lays, digging hand line, mobile attack with the engines, Acarregui said.

The brush-up on training is important to the safety of the firefighters and the safety of the community they serve.

That all ties back into safety, so if they are not squared away in what their expectations are then there is potential for trouble around the corner, said Acarregui.

The firefighters will complete the preparedness review this week.



Read or Share this story: http://www.ktvb.com/story/news/local/2014/07/15/12684367/