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.
The Halstead fire near Stanley, Idaho has grown to 7,000 acres and is currently the largest wildfire in the state. | Halstead Photos
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.