Fire season is coming early this year thanks to the dry winter.
U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service officials raised the fire danger to “high” Tuesday morning across northern Arizona’s pinyon-juniper and lower elevation ponderosa pine forests. The increased fire danger includes parts of Grand Canyon National Park, as well as the Coconino and Kaibab National Forests.
Areas below the Mogollon Rim surrounding Sedona had already jumped to high last week. According to officials, high fire danger means that wildfires can “start easily from most causes” and that grasses and pine needles will ignite readily. Campfires left unattended and brush fires are also likely to escape and spread easily, officials say. The two higher danger levels are very high and extreme.
Fire managers say that the current fire season is tracking one month ahead of schedule due to dry forest fuels and warm weather.
Officials believe that the Flagstaff area could also reach high fire danger in the coming week or so if there is no precipitation. No fire restrictions are currently in place.