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Higher wildfire activity expected in areas with grass growth

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Posted at 9:29 AM, Apr 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-11 12:29:59-04

PHOENIX (AP) — Officials say conditions this year point toward a potential for high wildfire activity in central Arizona and southward into desert areas where moist conditions during winter and early spring promoted growth of grasses.

The state Department of Forestry and Fire Management says that outlook is based on conditions very similar to those of 2019 when over 1,800 wildland fires burned nearly 625 square miles.

The department says winter rain and snow increased grass growth, putting communities in rural northwestern Maricopa County at a higher risk for wildland fires.

The department plans to conduct patrols and stage crews in higher risk areas to enable fast initial responses.