First Fire Weather Watch Issued For South Central Arizona

By Carrie Jung
Published: Monday, April 13, 2015 - 9:28am
(Photo via wrh.noaa.gov)
A National Weather Service map displaying a fire weather watch on April 13, 2015.

The National Weather Service in Phoenix issued the year’s first fire weather watch for south central Arizona on Monday. It will be in effect from late Tuesday through Wednesday evening.

Meteorologists said a forecast of 25-mph winds and humidity levels as low as 5 percent this week led to the watch.

Valerie Meyers, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said there’s an increased risk of wildfire this year in south central Arizona because of low precipitation and snow pack levels over the winter. She said a bumper crop of grasses, shrubs and smaller plants in the area could also increase fire danger.

"That’s the concern," said Meyers. "Is that once we really dry out and we put a little bit of wind to the scenario here the conditions are very very critical that if we do have a fire that initiates that it can spread very rapidly."

Meyers adds fire season in Arizona typically begins in early May.

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