With wildfire season just around the corner, Wyoming is predicted to have a slightly below average or up to an average year.
Bill Crapser is the state forester for Wyoming and he said moisture from the unusually high snow pack in the western half could stave off the flames, but the wet spring will also mean high grass and a lot of fine fuels.
The Black Hills in the northeastern corner is a lot drier, and Crapser said they could see a lot of flare ups in July and August since significant lightning activity is predicted for that area.
Crapser said the prediction should be taken with caution.
“The problem with that prediction is that’s the same prediction they had at this time a year ago and weather shifted that they weren’t anticipating and it dried out and we had a fairly active fire season,” said Crapser.
He said ultimately the season will depend on the weather.
“If all of a sudden the weather patterns change and we have very little precipitation, and have a couple weeks of really warm, windy weather,” said Crapser. “That will change the fire potential picture really quickly.”
Heavy traffic and a large influx of people are expected for the eclipse in August, so Crapser said they will be stepping up their fire prevention messaging and working with some federal agencies to bring in extra resources.