Parts of Arizona could experience higher wildland fire activity

Apr 1, 2019, 1:05 PM | Updated: 5:58 pm
FILE- In this Nov. 9, 2018, file photo firefighters work to keep flames from spreading through the ...

FILE- In this Nov. 9, 2018, file photo firefighters work to keep flames from spreading through the Shadowbrook apartment complex as a wildfire burns through Paradise, Calif. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

(AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

PHOENIX — Parts of Arizona could experience higher activity this fire season, according to wildland forecasters.

The state Department of Forestry and Fire Management briefed Gov. Doug Ducey and his executive staff Monday on this year’s fire season outlook.

“As you’ll remember, last year was a very dry winter. This year’s been different,” Ducey said at a press conference.

“This is the sixth-wettest year on record in the Phoenix area. This is good news in the short term, but Arizona cannot afford to get complacent as we come to fire season.”

Ducey said wet winters can lead to dangerous summers because precipitation increases vegetation, thus increasing fuel for fires.

“So our plea to everyone this fire season is to remain vigilant,” he said.

“A vast majority of the fires are human-caused … so please be responsible when enjoying the great outdoors.”

Fire management officer John Truett said firefighters and emergency management have been working on prefire plans and are committed to protecting citizens, but there’s only so much they can do.

“The folks behind me, all of our chiefs, we’re willing to stay in and defend, but there’s times where it’s going to be impossible for us to stand there because we want all of our folks to go home,” Truett said.

“So if you all would just do your share on doing your clearance and keeping up on the restrictions and abiding by those, we’ll get through this summer just fine.”

The forestry department launched an app Monday that allows users to report issues and concerns with photos and includes resources about fire prevention.

The state last year saw fewer wildfires burn compared to 2017, thanks to early messaging and increased preparation in high-risk areas.

There were 2,000 wildfires that burned 165,000 acres on private, state, federal, and tribal lands in 2018, according to the state Department of Forestry and Fire Management.

In 2017, Arizona had 2,205 fires that charred 420,000 acres.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

Sarah Liguori was appointed to the vacant Arizona House seat for District 28 on Oct. 18, 2021. (sar...
Kevin Stone

Sarah Liguori appointed to fill Arizona House seat for District 28

Sarah Liguori was selected Monday to fill the Arizona House seat for District 28 vacated by Democrat Aaron Lieberman, who resigned last month to focus on his campaign for governor.
15 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/@ArizonaDOT)...

US 60 closed in West Valley because of cement truck fire

U.S. 60 in the West Valley was closed temporarily Monday during the noon hour because of a cement truck fire, authorities said.
15 hours ago
Mary Ann Friesen (Photo via Arizona Department of Public Safety)...

Silver Alert issued for missing Chandler woman who suffers from dementia

Authorities issued a Silver Alert on Monday for a missing Chandler woman who suffers from dementia.
15 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/ADOT)...

Fiery collision on Pima Freeway Loop 101 in Scottsdale leaves 1 dead

One person died in a fiery chain-reaction collision on a Valley freeway Sunday, authorities said.
15 hours ago
One Betta, a Dutch Shepard, sniffs a mask for the scent of COVID-19 at Miami International Airport ...

Arizona officials expect ‘unusually high’ COVID-19 death, case report Tuesday

The Arizona Department of Health Services didn’t add new cases or deaths to its COVID-19 dashboard Sunday or Monday because of a scheduled system update.
15 hours ago
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)...
Jim Cross

Average Valley home prices expected to reach $517K by late 2022, experts say

Home prices in metro Phoenix are still going up and real estate experts are projecting an average of $517,000 next year.
15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Schwartz Laser Eye Center

How to sharpen your vision with elective procedures

Imagine opening your eyes in the morning and being able to see clearly. You wouldn’t have to wait to put on glasses or contacts, and there would be no more blurry showers nor forgetting where your glasses are.
Chris Kennedy

My Special Aflac Duck® taking flight in Arizona

For more than 65 years, Aflac has had the extraordinary opportunity and privilege to help provide peace of mind to individuals who have our supplemental insurance policies.
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
Parts of Arizona could experience higher wildland fire activity