COPY-Salt cedar fueling Arizona's wildfires

By YARA BISHARA
Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) - An Arizona brush fire that has burned through more than 2 square miles and damaged three homes is being fueled by a culprit that firefighters know all too well.

Salt cedar creates volatile and extreme fire conditions and dark smoke when it is burned.

It is also an incredibly thirsty plant that consumes large amounts of water, creating new challenges in a time of drought.

Sedona firefighter Jason Coil says when salt cedar burns, it doesn't burn clean but burns hot and black.

This thick, black smoke is what Arizona firefighters have noticed is common when a fire burns in a salt cedar zone.

There have been various efforts to eradicate stubborn salt cedar not only because of its fire-fueling agents, but also because of its water-greedy nature.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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