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Firefighters: Rain a perfect storm for wildfires

Posted: 10:27 PM, Mar 13, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-14 05:28:13Z
Firefighters

SCOTTSDALE, AZ — It may sound odd, but Scottsdale firefighters say rain plays a big role in the potential for wildfires in the Valley.

Here's how it works: More rain equals more growth, so things like grass, and other plants thrive. When those plants die though, they become fuel for fires.

"Any fire that we have, we have to be extremely aggressive on, and try to get a handle on it," said fireman Al DiBenedetto.

Areas like the Sonoran Preserve are especially vulnerable, covering more than 18,000 acres. DiBenedetto says one small spark could grow into a major wildfire quickly.

Areas like the preserve, officials add, don't recover well from damage caused by fires, leaving behind what they call a "scar."

Those who live near areas like the preserve should be cautious, and leave what officials call a "defensible area" outlining their home. Thirty feet of space between a home and plants that can easily catch fire can keep the fire from getting too close, and provide enough space for firefighters to work.

"As embers or what have you move in," DiBenedetto said "They don’t have a chance to really catch or get a foothold and move onto the structure.”

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