Summer is kicking off in Arizona, and as the months get warmer and drier the likelihood of wildfires popping up across the Arizona countryside grows.

A forest on fire
Credit: Canva

While wildfires are a common occurrence across the American southwest, there are some places across Arizona that are at more risk than others.

How to Spot a Wildfire

Wildfires are, understandably, decently easy to pick out when you look across the desert. The first sign is plumes of billowing smoke, usually orange in color, and growing in size rapidly.

Smoke rising from a wildfire
Credit: Canva

This may be a controlled burn, however, which are very common across wildlife areas to cut down on clutter. Look for notices from your local sheriff's office or wildlife association to ensure that this was a planned burn.

Preventing Wildfires

You may think "all I have to do is not intentionally burn anything in dry areas, how hard could prevention be". Unfortunately, it's not that easy. Preventing wildfires takes vigilance to make sure you're not putting your environment at risk.

Sign in forest that says :Put Out Your Campfire. Soak it, Stir it, Soak it"
Credit: Canva

Avoid parking vehicles on dry grass, make sure to douse your campfire with water until it's completely cold to the touch, and make sure to maintain any equipment to ensure it doesn't spark up during use.

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IS Your Community at Risk of Wildfires?

Every area across the state of Arizona is at risk, but some are more likely to catch fire than others. For example, in Maricopa county, Sunflower and Desert Hills-Joy Ranch are the two most likely areas to be affected this wildfire season.

Two firefighters putting out a wildfire
Credit: Canva

In Cochise county, expect Ramsey Canyon and Parker Canyon Lake to be at the highest risk. Pima's most likely spots to burn are Summerhaven and Catalina, and Gila county should watch out for Bear Flat and Six Shooter Canyon.

Regardless of where you live, make sure to be cautious and keep any eye out for any wildfires this summer.

[AZ Dept. of Forestry and management]

[U.S. Dept. of the Interior]

[Natl. Weather Service]

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Gallery Credit: Christopher Cappiali

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