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Wildfire season sparks in Southern Arizona

Posted at 10:25 PM, May 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-23 01:25:53-04
About a dozen wildfires have already burned through Southern Arizona this year, and some of them could have been prevented. 
 
It's the same scene we see every year. Flames ripping through the Southern Arizona desert during the warmer months. Last week, a blaze ripped through the Santa Cruz river near Cortaro and I10. It was one of the biggest wildfires in years for the Northwest Fire District. 
 
"I was standing here the other day watching it jump 300-400 feet in a matter of a seconds just because it was able to move through that light fuel very quickly," said Capt. Brian Keeley with Northwest Fire.
 
He says it's likely it didn't start on it's own.
 
"When you look back that day there was no lighting, nothing that would really trigger you to think it was nature-caused."
 
The blaze required a lot of manpower to put out. 
 
"We were out here for a good six hours and then the whole next day we still had people out here patrolling the wash looking for those hot spots. so these things are very labor-intensive for us. That's a lot of work for something that could have been prevented."
 
In just the month of May alone we've seen other fires in Southern Arizona that are believed to be human caused. 
 
The La Sierra fire is still burning through more than 5,000 acres in Nogales. The Montrose fire burned 13 acres on Mount Lemmon. The Cumero fire burned through more than 5,000 acres near Sasabe.
 
Some of the most common triggers are cigarettes and barbecues. Homeowners are expected to keep a 30-foot-perimeter clear of flammable materials to help clean up fire fuels.