Dry winter prompts state to warn about wildfire danger - KMSP-TV

Dry winter prompts state to warn about wildfire danger

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) -

A dire warning from Governor Brewer and her top wildfire command; This could be a very bad year for wildfires in the high country.

If the warning has a familiar ring to it, it's because we hear warnings every year, but weather conditions this winter make the threat this summer especially ominous.

A dry winter, we've had several in a row.

The state forester says that will make summer conditions similar to the weather back in 2002, the year of the Rodeo-Chediski Fire, which burned almost a half-million acres in northern Arizona.
   
One thing nobody wants this summer is another wildfire threatening lives and property in the high country.

But the state forester says it's a very real possibility.

"We have large accumulations of fuels, record levels of dryness. You know the logs on the ground are drier than kiln-dried lumber you would buy at a home store, so things are dry," said Arizona State Forester Scott Hunt.
 
High fire danger includes much of the state over three thousand feet in elevation.

But fire crews are prepared to use a 12 ton truck filled with state of the art equipment.

Crews of firefighters from Perryville Prison are also ready to take on any wildfire.

But Governor Brewer says it does not have to come to that.

"50% of our forest fires are started by humans. We have a responsibility, so I call on everybody to be careful. Let's not let our state burn up," said governor Jan Brewer.

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