There have been an estimated 400 wildfires in Arizona as of May 18, according to the Southwest Coordination Center website. Humans have caused 381 of those fires - including the East Desert Fire in north Phoenix right now.
The destruction these fires can leave in their wake can be catastrophic. To help keep Arizona's people and land safe, multiple state agencies have released tips to inform individuals on how they can best help prevent another wildfire from happening.
Their tips include:
- Make sure your campfire is fully out by dousing it with water, stirring it, and repeating until it is cool to the touch with the back of your hand
- Always refrain from using a chainsaw or welding equipment during windy or high fire danger days
- Whenever burning debris, be sure to use the proper burn barrel, never leave the burn unattended, make sure it is completely out before walking away, and to never burn on windy days
- Never target shoot or use fireworks on state lands, as they are never allowed
Their tips for drivers include:
- Do not throw cigarette buds out a vehicle window
- Check tire pressure, as underinflated tires may cause the wheel to touch the road/trail, throwing sparks
- Never park or drive or dry grasses and brush, as hot engines may start a fire
- Tighten trailer chains and other equipment so it doesn't drag
- Check brake pads, as worn pads can throw sparks through metal on metal contact
One of the most important things to remember is that there is "really no such thing as 'fire season' anymore," the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management said on its app. A fire can start at any time, so individuals should always be careful.
The Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management's app also alert's users when a wildfire is in their area.