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Arizona fire agencies prepare for busy wildfire season

Published: Mar. 30, 2022 at 6:51 AM MST
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LAKE PLEASANT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Starting Wednesday, more than 20 fire departments are beginning wildfire training for the upcoming summer season.

While the season hasn’t officially kicked off, the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management says they’re already starting to see an increase in fires. Every year, state, federal, and local agencies conduct a “multi-day wildland fire training,” It allows firefighters to train in the classroom and out in the field. Officials say in order to work on the fireline, firefighters have to take a refresher course and pass tests that show that are capable to work under strenuous and extreme heat conditions.

Last year we saw some major monsoon storms, which created a lot of vegetation build-up. “We had a lot of moisture last summer with our monsoons, so people think, ‘Oh great, we had all this rain, it’s going to help us with our fire season,’ but there’s so many more components that go into that,” said Forestry spokesperson Tiffany Davila. “We didn’t have a lot of precipitation over the winter. We are seeing warmer than normal temperatures in some cases.”

As of Wednesday morning, there was a fire burning in southern Arizona. The Presumindo Fire last measured 4,000 acres and was listed as being 20 percent contained. 71% of the fires in the state last year were man-made, so experts say it’s essential that people know how to stop wildfires from spreading.

Forest officials are reminding campers to clear and make sure all campfires are completely out before leaving, clean up vegetation around homes, and never pull a car off the road into the tall grass. Also, remember, it’s against the law to use fireworks or target shoot on state trust land.