Governor wants more money for wildfire prevention

Governor wants more money for wildfire prevention
(Source: KOLD News 13)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Gov. Doug Ducey is asking Arizona lawmakers for more money for wildfire prevention as crews battle multiple fires across the state.

The Arizona Department of Forestry said it's typically allocated $1.3 million for prevention efforts. However, Ducey wants to bring that total to $2 million.

The extra cash would go toward more prevention projects around the state, including things like clearing out dry brush and removing dangerous fuels.

Crews would also be able to perform more prescribed and controlled burns.

The state says doing projects like this before the official start of fire season means less work for crews later. Less fuel build-up and less brush means less fuel for flames, potentially preventing widespread fires.

Fire investigator Andrew Atkinson said even though it's not officially fire season, the dry conditions mean we all need to be on alert.

"Folks this time of year don't really think, 'Oh, it's fire season,' because we're not really in fire season. So they think, 'You know, I don't have to be too cautious because we're only in the 80s, the 70s.' But the fuels are dry enough to where a fire could spread like it was in June," he said.

If approved, the department of forestry would be able to use the money starting in October.

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