The summer wildfire season is expected to be at least as bad as last year, according to officials with the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho.

The center noted recent precipitation and cooler temperatures have delayed by several weeks the start of the fire season in Oregon, Idaho, Washington and Montana.

But wildfire analyst Jeremy Sullens told the Associated Press Saturday the rain hasn't been enough to alleviate drought conditions or moisten heavier fuel loads.

As a result, an above normal fire potential is likely and the long-term prediction is for increased potential for significant fire activity spreading north through California to all of Oregon, much of central Idaho and southern Washington by July, and into Montana in August.

Montana organizations are publicizing fire season preparation with Wildfire Awareness Week June 3 to June 9.