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Fire officials call historic rain ‘double edged sword’

Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 10:57 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - “We don’t have a quote-unquote wildfire season in Arizona anymore,” said Tiffany Davail, the spokesperson for Arizona’s Department of Forestry and Fire Management

And that’s exactly why Davail says Arizonans have to remain prepared. Even though the rain has been helpful in keeping fires across the state at bay, she says the rain can actually have the opposite effect.

“With the rain comes the grass crop and more vegetation,” said Davail.

Tucson, lately, has been especially green, a welcome sight to many after years of drought and dead vegetation. But Davail says grass like this dries up quickly, and it’s the type of fuel fires thrive on.

“Right now we’re concerned about what fall will look like once we start drying out,” said Davail.

Monsoon season comes to an end in September. While it’s not guaranteed the rain will stop then, it’s likely that the moisture will slow as we move further into the fall.

“Once we get into the fall we’ll start prescribed burning,” said Davail.

As members of the fire management team start looking toward autumn, Davail says Arizonans should remain vigilant now.

“Be careful when you’re working with fire outdoors and when you’re camping because we can have a fire start at any time here in Arizona regardless of how much rain we have received,” said Davail.

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