Arizona: budget cuts and heavy winter rains could mean a busy fire season

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Here is an excerpt from an article at in Phoenix:

This could be one of the worst fire seasons in years, according to local fire officials. Cpt. Eddie Smith with the Glendale Fire Department said all the rain this winter turned the desert landscape green across the Valley.

However, all that green is not good when it comes to fire danger, Smith said. As the weather heats up in a few weeks, all of the green brush will turn brown and become a fire hazard.

“We know summer will come and we wont have much more rain,” said Smith. “When that happens, the brush dries out and the potential is that much greater for extreme fire danger in Arizona.”

The fire danger doesn’t stop there. CBS 5 News found that the budget for Arizona’s Forestry Division has been cut by $1 million as a result of the state’s budget crisis. Also, fire response crews have been reduced from 15 to 12.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.