Officials: Fire season underway in AZ, NM - New York News

Dry, warm weather means an early start to wildfire season

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PHOENIX (AP) - Recent warm weather, dry conditions and a spate of brush fires on the outskirts of major cities of Arizona and New Mexico are prompting warnings that the 2014 wildfire season is already underway.

In the Albuquerque area, Lt. Michael Everett of the Bernalillo County Fire Department says there's been little rain or snow and that everybody need be aware of the early fire threat and very careful.

In Arizona, Rural Metro spokesman Colin Williams says conditions in some places on the outskirts of the Phoenix area resemble the brush-choked area where 19 firefighters perished last year in the Yarnell Hill Fire.

There's also concern in timber country where lower than normal precipitation levels have left forests vulnerable.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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