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Arizona's Noon News & Karie Dozer

Updated Apr 16, 2014 - 3:25 pm

Final Word: Be smart and don't spark wildfires

It's Easter weekend, and although Easter is late this year, something else is here early.

Really early.

Fire restrictions will go into effect in four national forests in Arizona on Friday. That means no fires, save for established campgrounds in the Coconino, Kaibab, Prescott and Tonto national forests. Smoking is restricted to developed campgrounds, buildings or enclosed vehicles.

No fireworks, ever, but if that is news to you, please don't ever go camping.

The bottom line is, too many trees and too little water have proven to be a deadly combination in Arizona over the last decade.

And if you're an experienced camper, you probably already practice all the fire safe techniques you should. But sometimes it's an ignorant accident that starts the forest fire.

The best intentions can still go horribly wrong, like the Wallow Fire. It was caused when two campers THOUGHT they had properly put their fire out. They threw a candy wrapper into the fire, to make sure it was out.

It wasn't. More than 500,000 acres burned.

This year will prove to be challenging. No amount of summer rain will make up for the lack of snowpack and overgrown forests.

So if you must camp this summer, leave the cigarettes at home or in the car. Use the fire ring inside the campground, douse that fire before you leave and make sure your boat trailer isn't dragging a chain.

The slightest spark could turn in to this summer's Yarnell Hill Fire. Let's not have that happen EVER again.

About the Author

Years with the company: Just started with Bonneville, but have worked for and with KTAR AM and FM since 1991.

Career: I always knew my career would be touched by news. I started as a news intern in 1991 and eventually reported news and sports, and anchored newscasts at KTAR when it was an AM, news/talk/sports station. I went to work at the Attorney General's Office in 1995, as a spokesperson for the 300 attorneys there, and for Attorney General Grant Woods. I returned as a part-time host and host of Arizona's Morning News Saturday in 2001.

Education: I escaped Catholic school early when the nuns wanted me to skip the second grade. I found my independent voice at a private grade school in Painesville, Ohio, then called Phillips Elementary. The teachers there encouraged us to ask questions and challenge the status quo. They took us on mind-opening trips and never once treated us like children. I am grateful for those years! I left Ohio in 1988 to attend Arizona State University because I knew I wanted to live in the West. I majored in Journalism and interned at KTAR in the newsroom my senior year.

Family: I am the last of nine children and my parents were undoubtedly looking at retiring when I was born. I was raised early on mostly by my five wonderful sisters. I have so many first cousins that I haven't yet met most of them.

Favorite movie: Caddyshack and anything by John Hughes.

#1 sports team: NL Diamondbacks. AL Cleveland Indians. Gotta love a team whose mascot is named Chief Wahoo.

Outside interests: Working out, cooking, traveling and reading a great book.


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