Arizona wildfire officials say COVID-19 will change the way they battle wildfires

Gov, Ducey and state wildfire officials held a news conference on Thursday to give an update on anticipated wildfire conditions in 2020.

Earlier in April, officials with the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management say they are expecting another potentially active wildfire season for 2020 in parts of Arizona, with conditions very similar to what the state saw in 2019.

According to the statement, winter rain and snow increased the grass load in parts of Arizona. Places like Wickenburg and Wittmann, and other desert areas with an abundance of grass, are at a higher risk for wildfires.

During the news conference, John Truett with the DFFM says the 2020 fire season is going to be one of the most challenging fire seasons they have dealt with, due to added complexities to firefighting efforts as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Truett also says the pandemic will change the way firefighters battle wildfires. Truett says fire crews will have to fight the wildfires aggressively in order to keep them as small as possible, but as the fire grows, they will start to reduce the workforce on the ground.

Truett also says DFFM will utilize their aircraft more often to battle the blaze.

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