x
Breaking News
More () »

Phoenix's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Phoenix, Arizona | 12NEWS.com

How to stay fire safe during Labor Day weekend

There is "really no such thing as 'fire season' anymore," the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management said on its app

ARIZONA, USA — There have been over 1900 wildfires in Arizona as of Sept. 3, according to the Southwest Coordination Center website. Humans have caused 1400 of those fires.

The risk for these devastating fires can increase as many Arizonans are venturing to the great outdoors celebrating Labor day weekend.

To help keep Arizona's people and land safe, multiple state agencies have released tips to inform individuals on how they can best help prevent another wildfire from happening.

RELATED: Wildfires have burned more acres in Arizona in 2020 than in 2018, 2019 combined

One of the most important things to remember is that there is "really no such thing as 'fire season' anymore," the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management said on its app. A fire can start at any time, so individuals should always be careful. 

The department lists multiple things people can do to prevent wildfires from happening. Their tips include:

  • Make sure your campfire is fully out by dousing it with water, stirring it, and repeating until it is cool to the touch with the back of your hand
  • Always refrain from using a chainsaw or welding equipment during windy or high fire danger days
  • Whenever burning debris, be sure to use the proper burn barrel, never leave the burn unattended, make sure it is completely out before walking away, and to never burn on windy days
  • Never target shoot or use fireworks on state lands, as they are never allowed

The department's app also alert's users when a wildfire is in their area. The app can be downloaded in the Apple App Store for iOS users and Google Play for Android users.

Drivers are also at risk for starting wildfires if the proper precautions are not taken, the Arizona Department of Transportation said.

The department tweeted out some tips Monday morning after the East Desert wildfire, which has burned more than 1,500 acres and has led to the evacuation of 50 homes, was determined to be human-caused.

Their tips for drivers include:

  • Do not throw cigarette buds out a vehicle window
  • Check tire pressure, as underinflated tires may cause the wheel to touch the road/trail, throwing sparks
  • Never park or drive or dry grasses and brush, as hot engines may start a fire
  • Tighten trailer chains and other equipment so it doesn't drag
  • Check brake pads, as worn pads can throw sparks through metal on metal contact

If a wildfire does start, there are some prevention measures people can take that make sure their homes survive and are not destroyed, the National Fire Protection Association said.

The association said that the main way homes are set ablaze during wildfires are by embers and small flames. Limiting the amount of flammable vegetation around homes, along with removing plants containing oils, resins, and waxes, significantly reduce the risk of homes being ignited.

RELATED: Is your home prepared for fire season in Arizona?

Having fire-resistive construction, including fire-resistive roofing, siding, and removing flammable materials from decks and porches, can also increase the chance homes survive.

Lastly, having and practicing an emergency action plan with all of the occupants of the home can save lives in the event of a home catching fire, the association said.