TUCSON, Ariz. - The Bug Fire that broke out on Mount Lemmon Monday is in mop-up mode now, thanks to a quick response and ready resources on the ground and in the air.
That 34 acres fire is a reminder of the high fire risks ahead.
The Smoky Bear Hot Shots lived up to their name, getting quick control of the Bug Fire with strong help from additional firefighters and ready access to aircraft that hit the ridge with fire retardant.
This might seem like the first fire of the season or a very early fire in the season but the way conditions are these days you can think of fire season as a year-round event.
Hot, dry conditions even by Arizona standards mean fires are not confined to Spring and early Summer anymore.
Heidi Schewel of the Forest Service says, "Our biggest fire of the year was in February of this year so, there's not really a normal anymore."
Schewel says conditions are so severe authorities just jumped past Stage 1 fire restrictions to Stage 2..
That means :
-No smoking unless you're in a building or a closed car.
-No shooting a firearm, or air gun unless you're on a licensed hunt
There are additional restrictions you can learn about at this link.
If you're home's near a natural area it's time to trim plants that could carry a fire to your house.
Schewel says, “Such things as having no vegetation overhanging your house. You may want to have ground cover, low mounding plants instead of shrubs that lead up into trees that could cause ladders for fire to climb."
Fire experts call preparing your home and yourself for wildfire threats being “Firewise”. You can learn more at this Firewise page.
Robert Noto was scouting a trail for a hike later this week. He says he avoids using fire except for one thing.
“'I smoke so if I smoke a cigarette I'll put it out in the dirt, field strip it and stick the filter in my pocket.”
But if prevention fails, resources are good right now to hit a fire fast and hit it hard.