PHOENIX — A dire prediction is out from the Forest Service with Arizona just weeks away from the 2013 wildfire season.
A new report said wildfires will only chew up more area in the next few years because of climate change. The area burned by wildfire is expected to at least double in the next 25 years. Wildfire expert Jim Paxon with Arizona Game and Fish said the situation has been building for a long time.
“Firefighters have been watching this situation. The last time we had normal winter snow coupled with a normal monsoon was 1992 to 1993. This is a very serious situation.”
Paxon said the forests are a tinderbox because of bark beetles, which have killed off millions of trees in the west. The tree-destroying insects thrive in drought situations.
Arizona’s largest wildfire on record burned more than a half-million acres in eastern Arizona in 2011. The Wallow Fire forced the evacuation of thousands of people from Alpine, Eagar, Greer and Springerville. Paxon said huge fires are going to become commonplace in our future and across the west.”
“We will see a lot of half-million- to million-acre fires in the next few years.”
Wildfires burned more than one million acres in Arizona in 2011 but 2012 brought a relatively tame year with about 200,000 acres charred. Colorado and New Mexico had devastating, record-setting wildfires. More than nine million acres burned in the lower 48 states, which is the third-highest year on record.
“We’ve had record high temperatures in Missoula, Mont. when it was warmer than Phoenix. This is crazy weather. If we don’t clean up the forests Mother Nature will. And when she does it we start over. Her broom sweeps the forests clean.”
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas