With very little rain this year, our parched state faces what could be an extremely tough wildfire season.
We’re already into the wildfire season for the Southwest, and Gov. Doug Ducey has doubled Arizona’s budget for thinning and clearing areas where too many fuels have built up.
He also has held press conferences to inform the public about the highly flammable conditions around the state.
Much of the state has suffered drought for the past two decades, and currently most areas, including Phoenix and Tucson, are in “extreme drought” conditions or even worse!
So the governor is calling on everyone in the state to be careful during their summer fun. If you and your family are in an open space, be aware of and obey all fire restrictions. Adults need to follow smoking restrictions for areas and be careful to snuff out their cigarettes completely. Even a trailer’s tow chains dragging on the road can spark an uncontrollable wildfire.
For homeowners living in more rural areas, Gov. Ducey asks that they clear the vegetation (fuels) from around their property. It’s not just about preventing forest fires anymore.
In fact, there’s a grassroots message we all need to keep in mind: “One less spark, one less wildfire.”
The buildup of fuels like overly dense forests, dead or dying trees and easily ignitable finer fuels like dried grass pose a real wildfire danger. In response, the state budget to thin out these fuels so wildfires don’t burn so intensely has been doubled this year from $1 million to $2 million.
“(Reducing fuels through thinning and prescribed burns) will not only improve our forests in terms of health, they’ll improve our watershed, they’ll have fewer fires burning with less intensity,” Gov. Ducey said at a press conference in Tucson this month.