This Year's Fire Season Less Active Than Usual

By Stina Sieg
Published: Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - 5:05am

Wildfires are still burning across the state, but Arizona’s fire season is considered mostly over. And even with 180,000 acres charred so far and such big-name blazes as the Slide Fire near Sedona in the past few months, it's being considered a less active season than usual.

Weather might have made the difference. Chuck Maxwell is a meteorologist with the Southwest Coordination Center, a partnership that shares fire resources between state and federal agencies.

Although this past winter and spring were dry, "once we got into fire season, later April, May, June, we saw periods of cloudiness, the occasional rainfall, periods of not very windy conditions," Maxwell said. "We need not see a very good alignment of the kind of severe conditions that drive large fire outbreaks."

Fire prevention efforts early in the season have also have helped keep reduce the number of charred acres, Maxwell said. Arizona’s fire season typically starts in the spring and tapers off once monsoons start to hit.

There have been more than 1,400 wildfires so far this season, the majority of which were human-caused.

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