PHOENIX - The weather has been dry and windy across Arizona -- the perfect conditions to fuel wildfires. So far this year, there have already been a handful of wildfires. Now the state forester has laid out what to expect this season across Arizona.
Last year, more than 293,000 acres burned across the state -- the most since 2011. Take a look at the wildfire assessment map, which shows nearly all of Arizona at a high risk for wildfires:
At the state capitol on Tuesday, Governor Doug Ducey and the state forester, Jeff Whitney, held a news conference to address our upcoming fire season and talk about what they're doing to prepare. The threat of significant fire activity in Arizona will increase next month and the biggest chance of large wildfires will be in June and July when temperatures begin to spike.
Officials are urging people who live in areas with a lot of brush and trees surrounding their homes to help create defensible space of at least 30 feet around the property.
As we've seen during past fire seasons, it's not usually a question of "if" a wildfire will occur, but when.
"It really is about prevention and I think it's clear that the expectation of the governor and myself is that everyone should do their part. The safest fire I ever fought is the one that never happened," said Whitney.
Also on Tuesday, Whitney said through agreements with local fire departments across the state, there are 2,700 trained woodland firefighters in Arizona ready to respond at a moments notice during the upcoming wildfire season.