More vegetation creates more risk for wildfires, officials say

Posted at 11:53 AM, Aug 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-26 14:53:56-04

PHOENIX — Record rainfall in parts of Arizona is causing more vegetation to pop up and while it may look pretty, fire officials say it’s a double-edged sword.

Tiffany Davila with the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management says in parts of the state, all of that green can quickly turn to dry brush.

She says in the high country, like Sedona and Flagstaff, the vegetation will retain water longer. However, areas like the Superstitions, Carefree, Cave Creek, Wickenburg and Southern Arizona are more at risk for wildfires.

“If we see a warm winter like we had last year with La Nina, La Nina brings warmer temperatures, the lack of winter precipitation, things could dry out very quickly. Especially in our lower elevations where we have that fine fuel vegetation,” Davila said.

She recommends homeowners take a look at the area surrounding their home for any new weeds or greenery that may have formed.

“It’s very important that they provide that buffer zone between their home and a potential wildfire,” she said. “It’s as simple as removing dead or dying vegetation, cutting off limbs from off the rooftops, removing any debris from the gutters or the roofs as well.”

According to ABC15’s meteorologists, Arizona has had an above-average monsoon season.