Fire Center Raises Preparedness Level

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - The National Interagency Fire Center says fire activity in the western United States has prompted the agency to raise its national preparedness to level 5, its highest ranking.

John Glenn, spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management,
says burning conditions this fire season are expected to grow more
severe throughout the west.

The agency upped its national preparedness to level 5 early Tuesday.

It marks only the second time the Boise-based agencyr has raised the preparedness to a level 5 this early in the fire season since the 1990s. The last time was in 2002.

As of Tuesday, the agency says there are 95 large fires burning about 821 square miles nationwide.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)