Wet winter causes increased wildfire risk

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PHOENIX -- Experts are worried about elevated fire risk after a wet winter caused a growth spurt for desert plants which have now dried out.

"There's a lot of dry brush, a lot of grass that has grown now from the rain that we've had recently," said Rural Metro Fire Capt. Ryan Travis, who gestured to the ground as he walked through a patch of desert in Carefree.

"There's so much desert around here that it butts up next to the commercial buildings, the residential buildings," Travis said. "And no matter where you are...there's still a fire danger that poses a risk to us."

With so many new homes being built in the Cave Creek and Carefree area, Travis said it was important for homeowners to clean up their property.

"A 30-foot space is what we recommend around their house to make sure they have a safe environment," Travis said.

In order to remind Arizonans of the increased danger, signs around the state indicating wildfire risk are being changed from moderate to high.