KGUN 9NewsWildfire Watch


Preparing for wildfire season

Why an active winter season can create a more severe risk
Posted at 10:25 PM, Apr 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-11 07:29:02-04

TUBAC, Ariz. (KGUN) — Although a wet winter provided some relief to drought conditions across the state, more vegetation could be a factor in an active wildfire season.

RELATED: Wildfire Watch

Captain Hesly Guerrero with the Tubac Fire District said last year, many of the fires his district encountered were started by dry lightning or were man-made.

“Campfires left unattended,” said Guerrero.

In 2022, the Department of Forestry and Fire Management reported 1,444 fires in Arizona with 941 of them being human-caused—the others caused naturally.

“The most common ones I could think of are the dry lightning,” said Guerrero.

With all the moisture from active winter weather, the department says this can create a dry and dense fuel bed once temperatures rise and conditions dry out in the warmer months.

Guerrero says the most important thing to do is listen to evacuation orders and gather valuables beforehand making them easy to grab when a fire breaks out.

“Belongings we can replace, people we can’t,” said Guerrero.

RELATED: Safety tips for preventing Arizona wildfires

Faith Abercrombie is a reporter for KGUN 9. Before coming to KGUN, Faith worked as a videographer for the Phoenix Children's Hospital Foundation and as a reporter and producer on the youth suicide documentary, "Life is..." on Arizona PBS.
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