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Drought-hammered Arizona could be looking at a devastating fire season

by Kim Quintero, AZFamily (Phoenix) |

After record-breaking heat and dryness from 2020, there are big concerns for the upcoming wildfire season in Arizona.

Right now, Arizona as a whole is experiencing some form of drought with about 85 percent of the state categorized as exceptional or extreme on the U.S. Drought Monitor map. 

Only 30 percent of the state during the same time last year was experiencing a drought in the northeast corner of the state. The situation was not as dire as what Arizona is currently facing.

According to the National Weather Service, despite the snow storms in the high country earlier this year, current conditions point to above-normal fire threats by April at the lower elevations from southeast Arizona to Yavapai County. Similar threats are spreading north along the Mogollon Rim by May.

The entire state of Arizona is expected to have above normal and significant wildfire danger by June.

According to the Department of Forestry, last year, Arizona had one of its worst wildfire seasons in nearly a decade. 

Statistics show more than 2,500 wildfires burned roughly 978,000 acres of federal and tribal lands. Of those fires, investigators say 82 percent were human-caused.