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Heavy winter rainfall setting Arizona up for potentially nasty fire season

(Instagram Photo/@rioverdewildhorses)

PHOENIX – It was a great winter for rainfall across the deserts of Arizona but it has also created a carpet of grass, brush and weeds that will become fire fuel.

Spokeswoman Tiffany Davila with Arizona Forestry and Fire Management said the conditions mirror what came ahead of last year’s fire season.

About 400,000 acres burned including the nearly 125,000-acre Woodbury Fire that started in the Superstition Mountains and ended up becoming the fifth largest fire in Arizona history.

“Areas with a heavy grass loads. It’s lush and all of the wildflowers are in bloom. Once it dries out, all of it will become
kindling,” Davila said.

All the rain has helped fill SRP’s six reservoirs on the Salt and Verde River systems including Roosevelt Lake.

“We have the potential for high fire activity in the central and southern deserts,” she said.

Davila added when a fire begins in grass it moves quickly and spreads rapidly.

“People are going to have to be vigilant and cautious when recreating outside,” she said.

Northern Arizona received much needed rain and snowfall.

Davila believed that could push the higher fire danger back into June.

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