As Arizona's wildfire season worsens, experts offer prevention tips

Wildfires have burned up hundreds of acres so far this year in Arizona, and experts say it's only getting worse.

Experts say they are now a concern year-round, and they’re asking people to take precautions.

Mark Wiles, wildfire prevention and education specialist, says he's been dealing with these fires for the last 40 years, and it's becoming more severe.

"Over half the fires are human-caused," Wiles said. "More humans, we expect more fires."

He and several other fire officials were out at Cabela's with their friend Smokey the Bear to educate the public on wildfire prevention. 

"Some people just don't understand how fire behaves, how it reacts, and how we can cause it with simple things we do every day," Wiles said.

They're asking people not to light any campfires or throw cigarettes on the ground. Anyone who needs to pull off the road is asked not to pull off onto any grass areas and to cover their safety chains.

"If they make contact with the pavement, they can spark setting the grass on fire, so we want to make sure those chains are up away from the pavement," Wiles said.

"Grease those hubs so they don't spark, make sure the brakes on the cars are being well-maintained cause those can spark as well," said Brad Bramlett, prevention team member.

Residents who live near a forest can also be proactive in securing their home, like making sure the yard is free of flammable debris and making sure the roof is clean.

"The key thing is being responsible with what you do while you're out camping and hunting," said Tyler Allen. "If you can't be responsible while you're out, can't observe that there's a no fire restriction, you have no business being out there."

Arizona wildfires 2022: What to know about the fires burning in the state

Major wildfires already burned thousands of acres this year in Arizona

The Tunnel Fire began on April 17 near Flagstaff in Coconino County. Officials say the fire rapidly spread in a northeast direction due to high winds and grew to more than 19,000 acres in less than a week.

The Crooks Fire was burning in the Prescott National Forest and prompted evacuation orders for some communities and had others on alert. Those orders have since been lifted and the fire is 100% contained after burning more than 9,000 acres.