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Wildfire season is here – tips for fire prevention

The Hayden fire near Leadore | Courtesy Idaho Falls Fire Department
IDAHO FALLS — Wildland firefighting season is in full swing. The American Red Cross and local firefighting personnel say there’s no time like the present to educate yourself on preventing wildfires.
Surprisingly, eastern Idaho was relatively free of wildfires until a few weeks ago, when the Hayden Fire near Leadore started. Now, the Elkhorn Fire has also picked up, and it seems wildfire season in eastern Idaho is heating up.
Firefighters still battling Hayden Fire – almost 15,000 acres ablaze
The National Interagency Fire Center reports that, so far this year, wildfires have burned more than 216,000 acres in nine different states.
Humans cause 85 percent of wildfires, according to The Red Cross.
Some causes of wildfires are pretty obvious, like unattended campfires that aren’t properly extinguished or discarded cigarettes. However, some may surprise you.
“Some of the more common contributing factors include vehicle chains dragging on the ground causing sparks, hot vehicles parked in tall dry grass … and burning of debris,” Kerry Hammon, spokesperson for the Idaho Falls Fire Department says. “Fireworks are another cause around Independence Day.”

The Hayden Fire near Leadore | Courtesy Idaho Falls Fire Department
According to the Bureau of Land Management, the fire danger in eastern Idaho is very high. That means fires will start easily, spread quickly and intensify rapidly.
RELATED | Red flag warning issued for most of eastern Idaho Tuesday
To help prevent wildfires, The Red Cross offers these tips:

Don’t drive your vehicle onto dry grass or brush. Hot components under your vehicle can spark fires.
Use equipment responsibly. Lawn mowers, chain saws, tractors and trimmers can all spark a wildfire.
Use caution any time you use fire. Dispose of charcoal briquettes and fireplace ashes properly, never leave any outdoor fire unattended and make sure outdoor fires are fully extinguished before leaving the area.
If residential debris burning is allowed — use caution. After obtaining any necessary permits, ensure burning is not currently restricted in your area.
Store combustible or flammable materials in approved safety containers, away from the house.

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