updated 5/10/2010 1:19:46 PM ET 2010-05-10T17:19:46

The northwestern United States enter wildfire season with drier-than-normal conditions following a mild winter that left little snow.

Robyn Heffernan, a deputy fire weather program manager at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, blames the El Nino weather pattern that suggests higher-than-normal fire wildfire potential for the northern Rocky Mountain states.

That includes Montana, Idaho, parts of eastern Washington, northwestern Wyoming and southcentral Oregon, as well as northeastern California.

Though Nevada had a dry winter, it's also had a dry spring, meaning desert grasses aren't growing as quickly. It should see below-normal fire activity.

While El Nino left the northern Rocky Mountains dry, it deposited heavy snow and rain on Arizona, New Mexico and southern Utah and Colorado, meaning those areas could also see below-normal fire activity.

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