Experts predict high wildfire risk in August in West, including Utah

Published: Thursday, Aug. 2 2012 10:53 a.m. MDT

Cattle move to avoid the flames of a large grass fire in a farm off of Air Depot between 63rd and Wilshire in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011.

The Oklahoman, Paul Hellstern, Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Wildfire experts say states across the West are now at the highest risk of the season for wildfires as hot weather patterns continue to dry out fuels and forests across the region.

Ed Delgado at the National Interagency Fire Center says the biggest concern in August comes for Northern Rockies states like Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, as well as Great Basin states like Utah, Nevada and Oregon.

Delgado says hot and dry conditions will persist through August, but the forecast also calls for higher chances of thunderstorms.

NIFC Wildfire Analyst Jeremy Sullens says the conditions are already ripe for higher-elevation timber fires to ignite in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming — especially as higher elevation fuels dry out.

Officials say most western wildfires so far have been in lower-elevation areas.

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