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Arizonans Can Help Prevent Wildfires

Governor Ducey, Fire Safety Officials Provide Wildfire Season Outlook
Arizonans Can Help Prevent Wildfires
Governor Doug Ducey today joined the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, plus federal and local wildland fire officials to remind Arizonans and visitors to be prepared, stay alert and do their part to prevent fires.  

“Temperatures are creeping back up – and that means Arizona faces a heightened risk of wildfires,” said Governor Ducey. “At the state level, we’re going to do all we can to protect Arizonans and try to mitigate any lasting damage to our communities. My heart goes out to all those whose lives have changed because of wildfires — and I want to thank the brave men and women who risk their lives to fight these fires and protect Arizona’s communities.”

In 2021, more than 1,700 wildfires burned approximately 525,000 acres of land across the state on all land jurisdictions. This year, the state is already seeing an uptick in fire activity, especially in the southern part of Arizona. 

“Last summer’s monsoon season was one of the most active in a long time,” said John Truett, state fire management officer. “However, that rainfall created an abundance of grass throughout southern Arizona, even in areas like Globe, which experienced significant fire activity last year. Now as our temperatures begin to warm up, that grass crop is quickly drying out and any ignition source into that fuel bed can start a fast-moving wildfire.”
It is now more important than ever for people to do their part to prevent wildfires and protect our forests, watersheds, wildlife, and property. The overgrowth of fine fuel from last summer’s monsoon, a lack of winter precipitation, and rising temperatures all play a role in that early spike in activity. 

Arizona residents and visitors can do their part by taking personal responsibility to help prevent wildfires:Create defensible space around your home, especially if you live in the Wildland Urban InterfaceRecreate responsibly. Make sure campfires are always out and cool to the touch before leaving the campsiteSecure tow chains and check to make sure your vehicle and tires are in good working order before getting on the roadCheck the weather. Have a shovel and water source nearby before doing any outdoor activity that involves fire. Avoid burning or using any type of equipment that may spark on windy daysRemember target shooting and fireworks are prohibited on State Trust LandBefore delivering an outlook on the upcoming wildfire season, the Governor received a briefing from the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management in regards to the outlook and prevention measures the state takes every year, including fuels reduction projects and prescribed burns and prevention patrol in areas notorious for fires.

In March 2021, the Governor signed the Arizona Healthy Forest Initiative, which provides resources for preventing wildfires by utilizing low-risk inmates to control vegetation that could contribute to wildfires. More than 100 participants of this program graduated March 30.

The Healthy Forest Initiative graduates will begin removing excess shrubbery from state land and get a second chance at a new life after they serve their sentence.

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