300 more wildfires this year than 2022; lack of monsoon moisture is to blame, officials say

By Ignacio Ventura
Published: Sunday, September 24, 2023 - 7:05am
Updated: Sunday, September 24, 2023 - 8:09pm

The Diamond Fire doubles overnight
The Diamond Fire on June 28, 2023.

There were about 300 more wildfires this year than in 2022, according to the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management.

Spokesperson Tiffany Davila said the risk of even more wildfires persists even amidst monsoon moisture and cooler fall temperatures.

“Truthfully, there really is no end to fire season. We can get fires at any time of the year here in Arizona based off of our conditions and the amount of fuel on the ground," Davila said.

Between January and September, the state saw a year-over-year increase in both the total number of wildfires and the number of acres burned – a rise of roughly 40,000 acres.

Davila said weather conditions led to the overall rise in wildfires.

“We didn’t really have the heavy monsoon season that we had hoped for. What we did see was a lot of dry lightning. A lot of that dry lightning started a lot more wildfires," Davila said. 

Davila also says it is important for residents to stay proactive and maintain wildfire safety to protect their homes through the end of the year.

Diamond Fire burnout operations near Sunflower, Arizona
Burn out operations were conducted on July 26, 2023, on the Diamond Fire to protect the infrastructure in Sunflower and the State Route 87 corridor.

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