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(KTAR Photo/Jim Cross)
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Despite big winter, experts warn of possibly dangerous Arizona wildfire season

(KTAR Photo/Jim Cross)

PHOENIX — Most of Arizona is a carpet of green thanks to one of the best winter in years in terms of rain and snowfall, but that could change come the summer wildfire season.

Experts said the southern part of the state will be in above-average fire danger in May. By June and July, the southern two-thirds of the state will experience higher-than-usual fire danger.

Despite the increased chances of a fire, Carrie Templin with the Tonto National Forest doesn’t believe Arizona is headed for another devastating burn year.

“We’ve had a great winter and that’s a good thing,” she said.

Templin said people who own homes and businesses in fire-prone areas should take precautions.

“When it dries out, unless you create a buffer around your home, the fire will keep running, especially if we get winds,” she said.

“Clear out the dead brush and weeds at least 30 feet from your home and make sure the trees aren’t touching your roof. Clean out the gutters.”

Last year, about 310,000 acres burned in Arizona. In 2011, one of the worst fire years in the state’s history, more than one million acres were lost to fire.

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