Monsoon season typically eases fires in Arizona, but not this year

18 August 2020

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PHOENIXMonsoon weather is sweeping across Arizona and the storms are causing fires to break out, many caused by lightning strikes and downed power lines.

In Buckeye, lightning struck an open field and started a five-acre brush fire, and according to US Forest Service, lightning sparked three other fires in the Tonto National Forest.

The High Creek fire, near Bonita, was caused by what Arizona’s Department of Forestry and Fire Management calls a “microburst,” that knocked down a powerline. That fire is now 100% contained.

“Throw in the lightning started by this storm, we are constantly going and constantly moving,” said Tiffany Davila with the Department of Forestry and Fire Management.

She says usually monsoon season helps reduce fire activity, but this year, we aren’t getting the same activity we are used to.

“It has arrived late. If it has even arrived. We have only seen a couple of storms and a little bit of rain in some parts. We aren’t getting widespread rain, that is why fire restrictions are in place. That is the reason and that is the reason we are seeing constant fire activity throughout the state,” Davila explained.

The Department of Forestry and Fire Management says of course they cannot control mother nature, so they are always working to prevent human-caused fires which can make up close to 90% of fires in the state.

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