Forecasters: Above-normal wildfire threat on tap for Arizona

Drought conditions spanning all of Arizona are contributing to projections for above-normal wildfire threats this spring and summer, the National Weather Service says.

February had below-average precipitation, and drier and warmer conditions are expected in March and into the spring, according to a wildfire outlook released Thursday.

"The entire state of Arizona is then forecast to have above-normal significant wildland fire potential by June," the outlook said.

Above-normal wildfire threats are expected to develop first in lower elevations extending from southeastern Arizona to Yavapai County in north-central Arizona before spreading north along the Mogollon Rim by May, "then into all of Arizona by June," the outlook said.

Drought conditions are now present across all of Arizona, compared with 30% of the state at this time last year, the outlook said. "This winter’s below-normal precipitation exacerbated drought conditions across the state."

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