Arizona fire officials expect another bad fire season for 2021

Fire season could be headed for an early start in 2021.

In recent days, several brush fires reported along the freeway in the Phoenix area, and high winds on March 3 didn't help either. In fact, high wind conditions resulted in a brush fire starting up in Tempe. That fire was originally an RV fire.

Officials with the Tempe Fire Department say winds were at nearly 30 miles per hour on Wednesday.

"It’s a Red Flag Warning here in the Phoenix area today, which means the temperatures are higher than expected, the winds are higher than expected, and the humidity is lower than expected, which means it's very dry, very windy. Not good conditions for any sort of outside fires like this," said Brandon Siebert.

Shawn Gilleland with Rural Metro Fire Department says fire crews are expecting a potentially bad fire season yet again.

"We are expecting that, with the increase fuel load that we saw over last year, and the rains we had a little wile ago, and some new growth," said Gilleland.

Firefighters are preparing, including their annual wildfire training.

"Cutting fire lines, how to produce some fire prediction, or predicting what the fire might do, and some online stuff on fire behavior, just to refresh those skills" said Gilleland.

As well as making sure equipment is in place. However, Gilleland says homeowners need to prepare as well, especially those who live in what he calls the urban interface, which is home mixed in with the desert.

"That they prepare their own properties and create the defensible space -- we recommend  that 30-foot buffer zone -- and remove dead material and cut down weeds and trim up trees, so that the fire doesn’t jump to their homes," said Gilleland.

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