PHOENIX - If you look at the calendar, technically fire season is over. But according to the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, fire season is never over.
“We had a significant enough monsoon season this year to grow enough grass and underbrush so we are going to be in fire season throughout the calendar year,” said Jeff Whitney the director of the Arizona State Forestry Division.
In fact, we have a wildfire burning right now in our state.
“[The] 33 Springs Fire up on the Mogollon Rim -- that’s about 2,000 acres, but we think we will have it wrapped up sometime today but we’ve been managing that for the last five days,” said Whitney.
Luckily, this time of the year we have a few things working in our favor that slow fire activity down.
“We have shorter days with less radiant solar heating, as well as a little increase [in] relative humidity overnight so those diurnal fluctuations, temperature and humidity help us,” said Whitney.
Although, with how dry our state is, various human activities could start a blaze.
“Campfires obviously, target practice, even a dragging chain on your camp trailer -- a number of activities potentially could ignite a wildfire,” said Whitney.
This year has been one of the worst for wildfires in the U.S.; in fact, according to the National Interagency Fire Center, we’ve had more than 50,000 fires so far this year, which have burned more than 8 million acres -- twice as much as the 4 million acres burned in 2016.
“This last fire season was one of the most significant we’ve had in Arizona ever,” said Whitney.
Thankfully, our resources are available right now to assist in California.
“Today we have 50 state and cooperator engines on the road heading to California in anticipation of another big wind event happening tomorrow evening,” said Whitney.
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