PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Arizona's fire season may drag out a little longer.

"If the weather continues as it is, this fire season could definitely stretch into November, maybe December," said Shawn Gilleland with Rural Metro Fire Department. "Currently, we're looking at about 14 to 16 active fires."

Arizona fire crews

The workload this season has already been great on crews.

He said the state needs moisture. The record heat and little rain have created the perfect storm for a rough fire season.

"It's extremely abnormal," said Gilleland. "I don't think, in Arizona, I can't remember a time that we've seen it stretched out like this that we've gone so many days over 100 degrees."

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The workload this season has already been great on crews.

"It's extremely strenuous on the firefighters, especially those crews working those major fires because many of these guys have also been deployed to other states," said Gilleland.

out-of-state wildfire

Some Arizona fire crews have been deployed to other states.

That's why firefighters are finding ways for some relief.

"We try to rotate people through as often as possible," said Gilleland. "We try to limit the amount of time they stay there, for not more than, say, 30 days at maybe the maximum when they're on a deployment."

Counseling is also available for first responders.

"I'd venture to guess they probably are using those a great deal now, especially with the added stress of COVID, not only at work, but at home," said Gilleland.

 

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