PHOENIX (KSAZ) -- In Arizona, the risk of wildfires is now pretty low thanks to the wet monsoon season, but that doesn't mean our firefighters aren't keeping busy.
In fact, many of them are actually working out of state now, fighting wildfires. Firefighters with the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire have been sent to multiple states where fires are currently burning. One engine captain from Prescott is now stationed in California on standby, as the Ferguson Fire continues to grow, and he expects lightning strikes over the weekend may spark more flames.
Dave Barringer has been out at the Stanislaus National Forest in Sonora, California for four days, which is located just a few miles away from Yosemite National Park, where the Ferguson Fire is burning. The Ferguson Fire started last Friday, and has grown to more than 22,000 acres.
"So far it's been pretty good. It's very hot, very dry. Kinda windy," said Barringer, in a phone interview with FOX 10's Jennifer Auh.
Not exactly ideal conditions, during wildfire season.
"We're just kind of in a holding pattern to see with the lightning forecast," said Barringer. "They are expected lightning through the weekend, so I don't think it will be too long."
Captain Barringer still has 10 days left in his 14 day rotation, and expects to be quite busy this weekend. The raging fire is far from being contained, but he remains positive.
"We're happy to come over here and help and happy to see some rain at home. So it's a win win for us!" said Barringer.
The blaze is only 20 miles from Yosemite Valley, but the valley remains open. Officials are warning visitors that the fire has degraded the air quality and visibility, and they're advising visitors to not stay outdoors for too long.
On a positive note, the spokesperson for the Arizona Forest Department told FOX 10 that things are looking great in our state. She says the amount of wildfires in Arizona this year, so far, is less than half of what we've seen, compared to the last two years. Right now, the department has a total of about 115 firefighters working out of state.