Gov. Ducey urges public to stay vigilant during wildfire season

Wildfire threats in Arizona are high, says Gov. Doug Ducey, who urged residents to be cautious when using fire this season. (Photo courtesy U.S. Forest Service)

PHOENIX – Despite having one of the wettest winters on record, Arizona still faces a high threat of wildfires, Gov. Doug Ducey said Monday. He urged residents to remain vigilant at the forefront of wildfire season.

“More precipitation brings more fueled vegetation, which increases fire danger,” the Republican said at a news conference.

Ducey urged residents to put out campfires, cigarettes and matches, and to make sure trailers don’t drag on pavement, which can cause dangerous sparks. He also added that it’s illegal to fly a drone near a wildfire.

“Unauthorized drones bring air-support operations to a halt, putting people, pets and property in danger,” he said.

Officials with Arizona’s Department of Forestry and Fire Management said 165,000 acres burned across Arizona in 2018 – down from 420,000 acres in 2017.

This story is part of Elemental: Covering Sustainability, a multimedia collaboration between Cronkite News, Arizona PBS, KJZZ, KPCC, Rocky Mountain PBS and PBS SoCal.