Although many in Maricopa County live in cities or towns, others live adjacent to forests, parks, or native desert areas. When urban development meets undeveloped outdoor areas, this creates an environment where fire can move readily between structures and vegetation. Residential and commercial expansion into these undeveloped areas can increase the likelihood that wildfires may threaten structures and people. These fires within the “Wildland Urban Interface” are both dangerous and costly to fight. The lingering effects of a wildfire may include soil erosion, landslides, and reduced food for the local animal population.
Long and short term drought, dry fuel conditions and unpredictable fire behavior, combined with increased human activity suggest that this has the potential to be a busy fire year. Stay informed on current and predicted conditions in your community, and when you are enjoying the outdoors.
Wildfires can be ignited in nature by lightning strikes, but can also be human-caused by accident, carelessness, or criminal intent. THINK BEFORE YOU ACT! It only takes one spark on dry grass, leaves, branches or pine needles to start a wildfire. Even live trees and brush are dry enough to easily ignite. Here are some common things to avoid in areas with dry vegetation:
- Using tools that create sparks
- Dragging trailer safety chains
- Carelessly tossing cigarettes
- Using fireworks
- Burning debris around homes and property
- Discharging firearms
- Abandoning campfires
REPORT ALL WILDFIRES TO 911.