Wildfire numbers not good news for Arizona - Tucson News Now

Wildfire numbers not good news for Arizona

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    Thursday, October 19 2017 9:23 AM EDT2017-10-19 13:23:08 GMT
    A California woman warning about ticks in the pumpkin patch. (Source: Facebook)A California woman warning about ticks in the pumpkin patch. (Source: Facebook)

    A woman has taken to Facebook with a painful warning for anyone heading to pumpkin patches this fall.  In the post Jennifer Velasquez says she contracted Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever after wearing flip-flops and shorts to a pumpkin patch.  Jennifer Velasquez

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    The youngest victim recovered this year was a 3-month-old girl, and the average age of victims recovered during the operation was 15 years old. 

    The youngest victim recovered this year was a 3-month-old girl, and the average age of victims recovered during the operation was 15 years old. 

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    UPDATE: Man killed in officer-involved shooting identified

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    The Tucson Police Department said Daniel Spear, 35, was killed Wednesday night after shooting at officers following an armed robbery.

    The Tucson Police Department said Daniel Spear, 35, was killed Wednesday night after shooting at officers following an armed robbery.

Fire season in Arizona ramps up in the dry, warm spring weather. This year is exceptionally dry with rain at the Tucson International Airport totaling 0.61" as of May 20. The average is 2.98", putting TIA 2.37" behind the average. Plus, over 98 percent of Arizona is experiencing some level of drought severity. Add to that stands of dead trees due to bark beetle infestations, and the wildfire risk is high in many areas of the state this spring.

While Arizona wildland firefighters have already battled numerous fires, the season has yet to turn destructive or deadly. As of May 20, there are two active wildfires in Arizona. Both the Skunk Fire and Barlow Fire are burning on reservation land northeast of Tucson. Neither of these fires are fully contained, and officials continue to monitor the blazes closely as firefighters work to suppress the danger.  

As average temperatures rise into June and dry weather continues until the monsoon becomes active in the state, fire danger becomes an ever-increasing threat. Even early monsoon storms can spark fires. These storms are generally moisture deprived with little to no rain falling to the ground, but lightning flashing downward, sparking fires in the dry desert brush. 

Recently Climate Central took a look back at Arizona's wildfire numbers from years past. And the news isn't good.  

According to Climate Central "The number of acres burning on federal land in Arizona each year is, on average, nearly 10 times more now than was typical in the 1970s; and the number of large wildfires is 5 times more than was typical in the 1970s."

  

And it is not just Arizona experiencing this rise in wildfire risk. Climate Central's Alyson Kenward analyzed the data for 11 western states and found the burn season is now an average of 75 days longer than it was 43 years ago. Plus, evidence shows the wildfire season is are starting earlier and becoming longer. 

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  • Fall fire dangers

    Fall fire dangers

    Friday, October 13 2017 9:53 PM EDT2017-10-14 01:53:33 GMT

    For Rural/Metro firefighter Cliff Maloy, the fires raging in California are not a new sight for him. Maloy is a task force leader with the wildland division, who has witnessed first hand how fast these types of fires can move.  

    For Rural/Metro firefighter Cliff Maloy, the fires raging in California are not a new sight for him. Maloy is a task force leader with the wildland division, who has witnessed first hand how fast these types of fires can move.  

  • Northwest Fire District to help fight California wildfires

    Northwest Fire District to help fight California wildfires

    Thursday, October 12 2017 12:35 PM EDT2017-10-12 16:35:54 GMT
    (Source: Northwest Fire District/Twitter)(Source: Northwest Fire District/Twitter)

    Captain Brian Keeley of Northwest Fire District said Thursday Oct. 12 that NFD just got the call to help out in California. Details on when they are leaving, exactly where they are going, and how many firefighters will go will be released soon. MOBILE USERS: Download our Tucson News Now app for Apple and Android devices. Copyright 2017 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

    Captain Brian Keeley of Northwest Fire District said Thursday Oct. 12 that NFD just got the call to help out in California. Details on when they are leaving, exactly where they are going, and how many firefighters will go will be released soon. MOBILE USERS: Download our Tucson News Now app for Apple and Android devices. Copyright 2017 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

  • 150 AZ firefighters helping battle California wildfires

    150 AZ firefighters helping battle California wildfires

    Wednesday, October 11 2017 9:39 PM EDT2017-10-12 01:39:02 GMT
    Wednesday, October 11 2017 10:00 PM EDT2017-10-12 02:00:42 GMT
    Dozens of firefighters are heading to California to help battle the wildfires  there. (Source: Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management)Dozens of firefighters are heading to California to help battle the wildfires there. (Source: Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management)

    Wildfires have devastated northern California and Arizona firefighters are heading over there to help.

    Wildfires have devastated northern California and Arizona firefighters are heading over there to help.

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