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Rains, Higher Humidity Levels Help Lift Arizona Fire Restrictions

Lightning over Prescott National Forest
(Photo by Jacob Pomrenke)
Lightning over Prescott National Forest.

Additional fire restrictions are being lifted thanks to rains and higher humidity levels provided by summer monsoons.

The Tonto and Prescott National Forests have both recently eased fire restrictions. Carrie Templin, a spokeswoman with the Tonto National Forest, said even though we haven’t received significant rainfall in the Valley, there’s enough humidity in the air to give firefighters an upper hand.

"Fires in the height of our season, which is usually May and June and into early July, can go to two, three, four hundred, a thousand acres in a day," Templin said. "You know winds can push it that far that fast."

She said now fires burn just a few acres before they’re put out by firefighters or Mother Nature.

Bill Boyd, a spokesman with the Arizona Department of Forestry said even though higher humidity levels help mitigate the risk of fire, firefighters aren’t going home any time soon.

"Our neighboring states, they’re still in their fire season and firefighters from Arizona will help in their efforts," Boyd said. "So our firefighters will be dispatched all over the west."

Still, the public is being asked to use caution when it comes to campfires and other fire uses.

KJZZ senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.