Look ahead to Arizona's wildfire season - New York News

Look ahead to Arizona's wildfire season

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PHOENIX -

Wildfire season has arrived in the west. Over the past two days, at least two separate wildfires have broken out in southern California.

Meanwhile, here in Arizona, firefighters are gearing up for our wildfire season -- and experts say it could be a bad one.

We are definitely seeing the signs that it will be a bad summer for fighting fires. Thursday there was a red flag warning to remind campers not to start camp fires in parts of Arizona -- and state leaders were out talking about how they are preparing for the tough summer ahead.

Fast moving flames are already sweeping southern California. A fire in Camarillo has scorched more than 6,000 acres. Weather conditions are also fanning this fire in Banning, where the blaze destroyed a home.

As temperatures rise across the region, Arizona officials brace for the worst.

"These wildfires threaten lives, they destroy property, they blacken mile upon mile of public and private land, they cost millions of dollars in damage to our forests and deplete our scarce resources," says Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.

And this season's low humidity, high winds and rising temperatures make conditions ripe for strong wildfires.

"High wind days just cause problems for our firefighters, so we are concerned about what kinds of winds we are going to have this summer," says state forester Scott Hunter.

State officials showcased new firefighting resources – including helicopters, new fire trucks and more inmate crews -- but also call on the public to stay vigilant.

"I ask Arizonans to be extra careful this summer, obey all state and local fire restrictions and be extremely careful during high wind days. Working together we can greatly reduce the potential for wildfires in our great state."

Authorities also said that the majority of wildfires are preventable, starting from lit cigarettes or abandoned camp fires. Again the public is advised not to start a campfire when there is a red flag warning.


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