Fire Danger 'High' In Northern Arizona

March 26, 2014

The forest fire season could come earlier than usual this year. The U.S. Forest Service moved Tuesday to increase a fire danger warning from “moderate” to “high” in northern Arizona. It takes effect in parts of the Grand Canyon National Park and the Kaibab and Coconino National Forests.

High fire danger means wildfires can start easily from most causes, said a spokesperson for the Forest Service. That includes small fuels like grasses and needles found in forests throughout northern Arizona.

Kaibab National Forest’s Fire Information Officer Holly Krake said high fire ratings usually do not come this early in the year.

“We are about a month ahead of schedule in northern Arizona historically from where we usually are at this time of the year with regards to moving to a higher fire danger rating,” said Krake. “So we are very cautious and certainly ramping up our preparedness early.”

Krake said the risk of wildfire will likely increase in more areas.

“As things get drier and warmer, more areas move into high fire danger and then the elevated fire dangers from there, including ‘very high’ and ‘extreme’ fire danger,” said Krake.

Fire danger is ranked on a five-level scale ranging from “low,” moderate, high and very high to extreme.

The Forest Service has not put any fire restrictions in place, but Krake said they could come when the risk of fire increases.