Experts: climate change causing more Idaho wildfires

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- Americans are already feeling the impact of climate change in every corner of the country...and Idaho is no exception.

"As climate changes, weather warms up, so sometimes there's less snow pack," said Dave Tuthill with Idaho Water Engineering. "That's been a convenient place to store water in the past so we're forced to look at other opportunities for storage."

"Based on everything I read, there will be effects on Idaho that will affect precipitation, temperatures, heat, all of the factors that go into making wildfire." said Blaine County Commissioner Larry Schoen.

A simple stroll through the Foothills shows just how dry everything is right now and experts say this warming trend could continue for decades to come."

Experts say massive wildfires are on the increase in the western United States due to rising temperatures and worsening drought caused by climate change.

"I think people are concerned about the fires themselves, the effects of the fires on the land and in the air," said Bill Myers, a partner at Holland and Hart and former Solicitor with the US Department of the Interior. " There seems to be a great deal of debate still about climate change. It's not a settled issue, but the overwhelming reports are we have a lot to be concerned about."

This hot topic was at the center of a panel discussion hosted by Holland and Hart and attended by elected officials from around the state plus experts in science and public policy.