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Predicted Arizona dry year could impact trees, cause fires

Dry, windy conditions feed wildfires across the Southeast
Posted at 2:02 PM, Jan 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-18 16:02:35-05

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Experts have predicted another dry year for Arizona following 2020, when the driest year on record stressed forests across the state’s northern region.

Arizona Daily Sun reported the conditions could have significant impacts on the health of trees and increase wildfire danger. The U.S. Drought Monitor reported Flagstaff experienced only 9.56 inches of precipitation in 2020. The dry conditions stress trees including Northern Arizona's Ponderosa pine.

Flagstaff Forest Health Supervisor Neil Chapman says drought in 2020 also means earlier fire restrictions and other public land impacts this summer, while ongoing dry winter conditions raise the fire risk throughout this year.