Monsoon season can be a double-edged sword for wildfires in Arizona

Arizona needed the rain it's been getting with back-to-back monsoons, and it looks like the Valley has good chances for more throughout this week, but monsoon season can be a double-edged sword for the men and women trying to contain wildfires.

Fire officials say this year has already been an extremely active fire season, with many of the fires sparked by a monsoon's lightning strikes. 

"We really want as much of our monsoon and rainfall as we can get," a fire official says, adding, "Really I think all we can hope for is some monsoonal moisture at this time."

The rain and moisture coming through can be a big help to the firefighters on the ground. They’re experiencing that at the Middle Fire near Cave Creek.

Byron Kimball is the fire behavior analyst on site and says, "That will help us. In fact, we have rain here in camp in Prescott Valley as we speak. We have a thunder cell that popped up on us and start raining on us."

But it’s not all good news, especially if you live near a burn scar.

The intense monsoon storms can bring flash flooding. We’ve already seen it happen in Globe recently and Kimball’s team is keeping a close eye on the thread right now

"That runoff is going to start carrying stuff with it. The debris flows have mud and ash, chunks of wood, potentially brush that gets stripped loose. All of that has to go someplace, could end up in communities and you have the detrimental impacts," Kimball says.

The Middle Fire is around 30% contained but the monsoon moisture will really help stop that one in its tracks, fire crews say.

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