ARIZONA NEWS

Let it burn: Arizona saw fewer wildfires in 2018 compared to year prior

Jan 25, 2019, 4:59 AM
(U.S. Forest Service Photo)...
(U.S. Forest Service Photo)
(U.S. Forest Service Photo)

PHOENIX — Arizona kicked off 2018 with an unfavorable forecast — little to no rain and severe drought conditions — creating the perfect landscape for a very active fire season throughout the state.

But thanks to early messaging and increased preparation in high-risk areas, the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management saw fewer wildfires burn across the state this past year.

There were 2,000 wildfires on private, state, federal, and tribal lands in 2018, according to the agency. In 2017, that number reached 2,205.

“There’s a lot of factors going into the decrease in these numbers,” Tiffany Davila with the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday.

“But the main one (is) closures. We haven’t put closures on state owned or managed land in about ten years,” she added.

“By implementing those closures on our higher risk areas, it really helped us decrease that fire activity.”

Sixty-eight percent of the wildfires that burned in Arizona in 2018 were caused by humans, compared to 72 percent in 2017.

More than 165,000 acres burned in wildfires across Arizona in 2018, compared to the previous year where fires burned roughly 420,000 acres.

The Arizona Department of Forestry credits the decrease in wildfires to early prevention efforts, social media messaging, public assistance and increased collaboration with federal and local authorities.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Arizona GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake speaks to the media after voting on November 08, 2022...
KTAR.com

Defeated Republican Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake files election lawsuit

Kari Lake filed a lawsuit Friday claiming the number of illegal votes cast in Arizona's general election outnumber her margin of defeat.
20 hours ago
(Getty Images)...
KTAR.com

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema relieved by Brittney Griner’s release from Russian prison

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema said she is not in a place to criticize the Brittney Griner-Viktor Bout exchange and is happy Griner is home.
20 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/Abraham Hamadeh)...
KTAR.com

Republican Arizona AG candidate Abe Hamadeh files another election lawsuit

Republican Arizona Attorney General candidate Abe Hamadeh filed another election lawsuit Friday, asking for another look on his race.
20 hours ago
(AP Photo/Matt York)...
SuElen Rivera

Maricopa County recorder proposing ways to speed up vote count

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer said he planning to propose changes to Arizona election laws that would speed up the vote count.
20 hours ago
A cold and flu medicine shelf is empty in a CVS pharmacy on Dec. 6, 2022, in Burbank, California. (...
Associated Press

Maricopa County health officials warn about spread of flu, COVID, RSV

Arizona's most populous county is warning of a significantly rise in cases of the flu, COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.
20 hours ago
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)...
Marcia Hammond

‘Political earthquake’: Arizona experts weigh in on Sen. Sinema jumping ship to independents

Two Arizona political strategists said U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema's switch from the Democratic Party to independent status took courage but only time will tell whether it hurts her career.
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
Let it burn: Arizona saw fewer wildfires in 2018 compared to year prior