Arizona firefighters prepare for busy wildfire season

Nearly 200 firefighters from dozens of agencies across the state are in the East Valley preparing for a busy wildfire season.

"You always know it's coming, but you have to prepare every year and learn more each year about how to stay safe and save lives and property," said Kevin Bailey with the Central Arizona Wildland Response Team.

Crews believe this year we will see an above average number of wildfires across the state.

"Yes we expect an above average number of fires, but really think about what is average nowadays, the fact is, we could be busy," said Bailey.

Many of the firefighters going through the training don't know each other, but could be working shoulder to shoulder on the fire lines.

"That's part of it, we want to make sure everyone is aware and knows one another as much as possible because we work hand in hand with each other like so many agencies," said Bailey.

In the training, the men and women work on everything from deploying emergency shelters to constructing fire breaks.

"We have to do everything we can to make sure everyone is prepared," said Bailey.

The training continues through the weekend and crews also want people to prepare their own property.

"We really need people to create that defensible space and clear the debris around their homes, this involves everyone from Flagstaff to Tucson, because if they wait until a fire starts, it's too late," said Bailey.

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