Firefighters look to communities for fire prevention

(Source: Tucson News Now)
(Source: Tucson News Now)
Updated: Feb. 12, 2018 at 5:09 PM MST
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Trim back dead plants around homes. (Source: Tucson News Now)
Trim back dead plants around homes. (Source: Tucson News Now)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - It could be a busy fire season for southern Arizona.

National Predictive Services expect an above normal next few months in the region due to the warm and dry conditions.

With that, Rural Metro Fire told Tucson News Now they have seen a number of fires spark up around town because of poor maintenance of brush and trees.

Officials want the public to know, as fire departments prepare for fire season, so can you.

There are several things communities should look out for. Removing buffelgrass, brush or tumbleweeds, and trimming dead or dying brush are just some of the ways people can be proactive this fire season.

John Walka, a battalion chief with Rural Metro Fire said these plants can be found all over Tucson.

"A lot of it is up in the foothills area, it's everywhere. People need to be aware of it, trim it back," said Walka.

He has worked in the Tucson area for a number of years and has noticed it never takes much for a fire to spark in a dry desert.

"These fires could spark up from radiant heat. They could spark up from flying embers, wind driven fires as well. All very, very dangerous and we see that happening all the time," he explained.

Being fire ready is something to think about year-round, not just when wildfire season picks up.

Rural Metro Fire also advocates for communities to look into Firewise, a program designed for neighbors to work together, be proactive and reduce the risk of wildfires.

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