Idaho fire officials say cool, wet spring could produce a more normal fire season

Idaho News
By Clark Corbin; Idaho Capital Sun Firefighters respond to the Moonstruck Fire, which was contained in early September 2021 near Lake Lowell in Canyon County. (Courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management) Thanks to a cool, wet spring, the wildfire outlook for July across most of Idaho looks more normal than last year, officials told the Idaho State Board of Land Commissioners on Tuesday. Although the news is good in the short term, the risk will increase later in the summer, officials cautioned. “Looking at July, at least for Idaho, we are expecting near normal fire potential. It may even be on the lower end of normal because of the wet spring and cool spring we have had that has continued well into June,” said Jim Wallman, a meteorologist with…
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Drought conditions improving with recent rainfalls

Idaho News
By Corey Evan; Independent Enterprise PAYETTE — On April 25, Payette County Emergency Manager Adam Gonzalez gave the Payette County Board of Commissioners an update on the present state of drought conditions in Payette County. At the board’s regular meeting, he said that recent rainfall had helped improve things over where the county stood a month prior. “There’s a lot of discussion about drought. I wanted to get ahead of the discussion a bit,” said Gonzalez to the board. “I know the Governor’s had some … discussion about it.” In discussions with Payette Irrigation District Water Master Neil Shippy, he said Shippy determined that the recent rainstorms have been a big boon for local water storage, especially the Cascade Reservoir. Gonzalez cited an Idaho SNOTEL Current Snow Water Equivalent report,…
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Blackfoot to organize water advisory board

Idaho News
By Logan Ramsey; Post Register BLACKFOOT — The City of Blackfoot is working to form a water advisory board in order to involve citizens in preparing to conserve water as the snowpack and the natural flow of the Snake River decreases over time. The first meeting was on March 24. “We want citizen ownership of this,” said Blackfoot Mayor Marc Carroll. Princeton Lee, Blackfoot Water superintendent, said the goal of the board will be “to try to get the citizens to conserve water or help us change the way we use and perceive water. I feel like that’s something that the citizens of Blackfoot or users of the water system should help us craft.” This summer could be particularly hard on people who use irrigation with junior water rights as…
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Snowpack, water supply depend on March rains

Idaho News
By Hannah Ashton; Magic Valley Times News Snow falls as the water flows Wednesday, March 9, 2022, at Auger Falls in Twin Falls.Drew Nash, Times News TWIN FALLS — Idaho broke water records in March — not the good kind. Across the state SNOTEL — Snowpack Telemetry sites — hit record low precipitation levels for January to March. Many of the data sets go back 40 years, making officials with the Idaho Water Supply Committee even more nervous. “Since about Jan. 7, we’ve really had a failure of normal precipitation in the state,” said David Hoekema, hydrologist with the Idaho Department of Water Resources, during the March committee meeting. The snow water equivalent (SWE), which stands for how much water is in the snowpack if it melted, has “dramatically decreased,”…
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Drought, low snowpack may foretell Idaho’s future

Idaho News
Idaho Statesman Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area, Boise, ID. Much of Southern Idaho, cut through in scythe like fashion by the Snake River Plain, relies on the frozen water stored in the state’s mountains to fill its rivers. When winter ends and summer’s broiling heat arrives, it is these snowy peaks that serve as the state’s reservoir, filling the Salmon, Snake, Big Lost, Boise and other tributaries with cold, clear water. But as the amount of snowfall declines, with scientists citing the effects of climate change as a key contributor, major problems arise for the state’s ecosystems, residents and agriculture industry. And that erosion is already underway. By the turn of the century, Idaho could see reductions of 35%-65% of its snowpack, according to a study published in Nature Reviews…
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Idaho Water Supply Committee: Record-dry January, drought outlook ‘grim’

Idaho News
By Meredith Spelbring; East Idaho News TWIN FALLS (KIVI) – After a near “perfect” start to the season, officials with the Idaho Water Supply Committee said a record-dry January and dry forecasts are not ideal for the widespread drought across Idaho. Nearly 50% of Idaho is in drought conditions, with the remaining half of the state approaching drought conditions, according to David Hoekema with the Idaho Department of Water Resources. The fall of 2021 and the beginning of 2022 were “perfect” conditions from a water supply standpoint, but one of the driest 30-day streaks in January is causing concern. “We are getting to a point we are probably going to start recommending an expansion of drought in Idaho if we don’t see the needed precipitation coming in,” said Hoekema. As…
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