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Spring's grass will be fine fuel for summer's wildfires

by Jon Robinson (webmaster) |

Last summer, fires burned 7.1 million acres and 815 homes and other structures, mostly in the West. Zion escaped with eight small fires, scorching 18 acres.

With parched forests and weather conditions that are expected to remain dry and hot, fire officials are braced for another dangerous season of wildfires. Eaker's park is almost dead center in the region where the drought will persist, according to projections issued Thursday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center.

The forecast through August shows that the drought, which began in 1999, may worsen from southern Idaho and southwestern Wyoming southward to the Mexican border. Some of the regions last summer experienced the driest months in recorded history, with trees drier than kiln-dried lumber.