Officials Predict Challenging Fire Season

April 02, 2014

(Photo by Carrie Jung-KJZZ)
This state map illustrates areas of high fire danger.
(Photo by Carrie Jung-KJZZ)
State Forester Scott Hunt said after three straight years of drought, we're facing a challenging fire season in 2014

At a Wednesday morning news conference, state forestry officials urged Arizona residents to be vigilant this fire season.

As the state enters its third consecutive year of drought, the risk for fire is high. Officials said the dry conditions they are seeing now are similar to those typically seen in late May.

State Forester Scott Hunt said at this point, we’re facing a challenging potential fire season, especially in the forest lands of southeast Arizona. But he said it’s a challenge that officials are actively preparing for.

"My forresters will also be looking at fire behavior predictions pretty closely. We do expect that we’ll be, on our initial tack responses, that we’ll be sending, in some cases, heavier responses this year than last year," Hunt said.

Hunt said there is some good news to report. Arizona’s lower elevation desert landscapes in Phoenix, Yuma, and Tucson will see a lower fire potential this year compared to last.