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APS takes active role in wildfire management to protect power lines and communities

Arizona Public Service provides power to customers throughout the state and works with fire crews during wildfire season. 

APS has about 18,000 miles of power lines and 5,000 miles of transmission lines throughout Arizona.

The utility has to clear a lot of brush to keep them safe from wildfire, and during fire season, those corridors can serve as fire breaks.

Wade Ward is fire mitigation supervisor for APS. He says that fires that begin in rural areas have begun to encroach on urban communities, because as the state has grown, invasive species have also taken hold.

"And so what they do is they allow fire to be carried from one vegetation type to another, and so it allows fire to spread very fast," Ward said.

He says people can help protect their homes by clearing out fuel on their property.

Ron Dungan has lived in Arizona for more than 35 years. He has worked as a reporter, construction worker, copy editor, designer and freelance writer. He's a graduate of the University of Iowa, where he was a member of the undergraduate Writers’ Workshop, and has a master’s in history from Arizona State University.Dungan was an outdoors reporter and member of the storyteller team at the Arizona Republic, where he won several awards, and was a contributor on a border project that won the 2018 Pulitzer for explanatory reporting.When not working, Dungan enjoys books, gardening, hanging out with his German shorthaired pointer, backpacking and fly-fishing. He's a fan of the Arizona Cardinals and Iowa Hawkeyes.