Although abandoned campfires cause plenty of wildfires in the high county, it’s a different story in the desert. Here are six ways you can accidentally start a wildfire.
Gov. Doug Ducey declared a state of emergency on Friday in response to the growing number of wildfires in Arizona and directed additional resources be made available for fire-suppression efforts.
The declaration authorizes the release of $200,000 in emergency funds and requests the State Emergency Council provide fire officials with additional resources as needed to combat the fires.
As of Friday afternoon, there were 14 active wildfires around Arizona, the largest of which is the Frye Fire that has burned through more than 21,000 acres of land near Safford.
The lightning-caused fire started on June 7 and was 10 percent contained as of Friday afternoon. Crews expect the fire to be fully contained by July 30.
Fire officials on Friday said the brush fire that started Thursday and caused long backups near Loop 303 and Interstate 17 in north Phoenix had been fully contained.
The fire closed an 11-mile stretch of the Interstate 17 on Thursday and burned through 1,700 acres before being fully contained, officials said.
Among other fires in Arizona:
- The Lizard Fire burning 17 miles east of Benson had burned 15,320 acres and was 80 percent contained, with a full containment expected by June 30.
- The Boundary Fire burning on Kendrick Mountain 17 miles northwest of Flagstaff had torched 11,532 acres of land as of Friday afternoon and was 53 percent contained. The fire was burning on both the Kaibab and Coconino national forests and was being fueled by heavy dead and down debris from a fire in 2000.
- The Encino Fire burning in Sonoita had scorched 1,289 acres and four homes after it was sparked on Tuesday. Evacuation orders put in place earlier this week were lifted for residents in Sonoita, about fifty miles southwest of Tucson. The fire was 75 percent contained as of Friday afternoon and was being fueled by dry brush and tall grasses.
The state of emergency will extend through June 30, the end of the state’s fiscal year.
“We thank the many brave men and women who have stepped up and responded to wildfires around Arizona,” Ducey said in a statement. “I’m issuing today’s declaration to make sure they have every resource needed to do their jobs and protect our communities. Public safety is our top priority, and we will continue to coordinate with state and local emergency response officials to keep Arizonans safe.”
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