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Arizona’s fire resources in good shape for now

PHOENIX — Arizona’s wildfire season is underway about a month earlier than usual and the manpower and air tanker numbers needed to battle fires are in good shape, said a fire official.

Prescott Fire Division Chief Darrel Willis, however, said those resources are going to be stretched thin once the rest of the West starts burning.

“We’re the bull’s-eye now in Arizona but in the next couple of months Nevada and California will start seeing wildfires,” Willis said. “California is in terrible shape from the drought. We will start competing with other states for resources. This could be a very, very long fire season.”

The O’Donnell fire near Elgin burned almost 600 acres in southeastern Arizona over the weekend and so far is the largest wildfire of the year in Arizona. That fire is almost fully contained.

The Brown Fire in the Huachuca Mountains near Sierra Vista burned 240 acres and is 90 percent contained.