Time is now to prepare for wildfire season
The Arizona Wildfire Academy at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott this past week is a sign that the wildfire season is near.
A controlled burn exercise on the Embry-Riddle campus in a brushy area surprised the students and instructors because it burned more rapidly than they had expected even though the burn was only four days after a snowfall.
Another sign is the 750 acre blaze near Bisbee this past week.
Bisbee fire Capt. George Castillo says the fire began after a man cut down some trees on his property, doused them in gasoline and set them ablaze.
Firefighters were able to protect three homes, but were unable to stop the wind-driven blaze from spreading throughout the Mule Mountains.
Curtis Heaton of the U.S. Forest Service says "we are still in a mild to moderate drought."
However, the area's precipitation so far in 2008 has been "100 percent of normal," which means "a significant grass crop is expected," Heaton said, which would produce more potential fuel for fires.
Heaton said, "My best guess is this will be an average to above-average fire season."
So, make sure you get all the weeds and brush cleared around your buildings, now.