Wildfire threats throughout Southwest USA

Wildfire threats throughout Southwest USA

7 March 2006

published by www.fs-world.com

USA — Drought conditions throughout the Southwest include Phoenix without rain for four months, and Tucson and Albuquerque in their driest winters on record.

A spokesman for the Forest Service‘s Southwest region claims that all the area needs is ignitions to see potential fires.

In Arizona last month, a fire burned more than 4,000 acres in the Tonto National Forest, stirring up nerves because it was the earliest large fire ever. In New Mexico, a grass fire of more than 26,000 acres forced the evacuation last week of a small farming-and-ranching community.

Last year, more than 8.6 million acres of state and federal lands were scorched across the country, the most since the record year of 2000.

Even if a little rain were to fall now, it likely would do more harm than good. Rather, Bureau of Land Management’s national fire weather program manager says only a number of storms occurring over a month or two to really put a big dent in the fire season but it looks like it‘s going to be dry for most of the spring. 


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