Spring is here, and the Forest Service has taken charge. People in the high country are nervous. They talk about a year with no winter. How it’s drier than it was when Rodeo-Chediski blew up.
Just before Memorial Day weekend, the Forest took the rare step of closing down sections of various tinder-dry sections of backcountry. The Forest was wise to do so.
On any given weekend, people leave dozens of smoldering campfires in Arizona’s forests. But dragging chains, cigarette butts, target shooting, flat tires and the warm underbelly of a car on dry grass can also start fires.
It only takes one. One sloppy camper. One spark. One gust of wind.
Be afraid, Arizona. So far we’ve had the Tinder, the Sycamore, the Rattlesnake, the Cedar and hundreds of others. A report by 12 News said there have been more than 700 human caused fires so far, and they have burned more than 68,000 acres.