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Wildfires burn in Arizona, but expert says fire season is almost over

PHOENIX — Several wildfires are burning around the state, but according to one expert, the bulk of this year’s fire season is over.

Mary Zabinski is a public information officer for the Southwest Coordination Center in Albuquerque. She said there are 12 fires burning right now in Arizona, with the largest one burning up north.

“The Bar M Fire is burning in the Coconino National Forest about five miles west of Mormon Lake,” said Zabinski. “At last count, it was a little over 4,500 acres.”

All of the fires are lightning-caused but are not threatening any lives or property. Zabinski said that in most cases, the lightning was accompanied by heavy monsoon rain that has kept the fires manageable and beneficial to Arizona’s forests.

Zabinski said that Arizona’s wildfire season usually ends around July 4 and monsoon season will help stave off fires.

“That part of the season has been drawn almost to a close just because of the seasonal monsoonal precipitation,” said Zabinski.

That’s freed Arizona fire crews to fight fires elsewhere.

“About 21 Arizona crews are in Utah, Idaho, Nevada, California, Oregon and Washington,” said Zabinski.

She said the Arizona crews can be called back if they are needed in their home state.