Hobbs, fire officials urge precautions ahead of Arizona's wildfire season

By Wayne Schutsky
Published: Monday, March 18, 2024 - 3:39pm

Man in uniform speaks into microphone
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
John Truett, Arizona's fire management officer, on Monday, March 18, 2024.

Gov. Katie Hobbs is urging Arizonans to take precautionary measures to prevent wildfires. 

Hobbs joined fire officials to urge Arizonans and tourists to take several common-sense steps to mitigate fire risks ahead of Arizona’s wildfire season, which runs from April to July.

“Nine times out of 10, wildfires are caused by people,” Hobbs said. “So it’s critical we are all doing our part to prevent them.”

Preventative measures residents can take include removing dead vegetation from properties and moving flammable materials like propane tanks away from houses.

Aaron Casem, a prevention officer with the Department of Forestry and Fire Management, urged residents to take actions now before the fire season is in full swing. 

“The first day of any firefight starts with the actions that our community members take today,” Casem said. “Do not wait until you see smoke in the air to act. The time to act is now.”

And it’s not just residents who can help mitigate wildfire risks.

Hobbs says 26% of wildfires in Arizona were caused by roadside fires. She said motorists should ensure cars are in good working order before hitting the road. And people with trailers should ensure trailer chains are not dragging, which can spark wildfires.  

Casem said tourists also play a role, and anyone recreating outdoors should also observe rules governing those activities to avoid wildfires, including making sure campfires are never left unattended.

Woman in beige blazer talks at podium
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs on Monday, March 18, 2024.

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