Higher wildland fire activity predicted for parts of Arizona

Research by the University of Arizona shows that fire season in many parts of the West now begins in March and continues through October. (Photo/Coconino National Forest)

Research by the University of Arizona shows that fire season in many parts of the West now begins in March and continues through October. (Photo/Coconino National Forest)

PHOENIX (AP) — Wildland fire forecasters are predicting some higher activity for parts of Arizona.

The state Department of Forestry and Fire Management briefed Gov. Doug Ducey and his executive staff April 1 on this year’s fire season outlook.

Forest officials say the recent winter moisture across Arizona provided some much-needed relief to the One from a pack state after struggling with a lack of moisture and severe drought conditions over the last couple of years.

Last year’s fire numbers dropped significantly from the previous year despite the state’s dry conditions.

In 2018, there were 2,000 wildfires for a total of 165,000 acres (nearly 66,780 hectares) burned on private, state, federal and tribal lands.

Arizona had 2,205 fires in 2017 that charred 420,000 acres (almost 170,000 hectares).

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