MONSOON SEASON IS HERE
June 15th through September 30th has been defined as “The Monsoon.” A period of extreme heat typically precedes daily rounds of thunderstorms. The heat is deadly in its own right, causing dozens of deaths in Arizona each year. In addition, thunderstorms present an array of hazards which often strike suddenly and with violent force. In Arizona and New Mexico, lightning strikes, high winds, wildfires, tornadoes, flash flooding and extreme heat have caused an average of 10 deaths and 60 injuries along with tens of millions of dollars of damage each year since 1995. Road closures, as well as power and communication outages are additional consequences of monsoon weather hazards. Please visit monsoonsafety.org for more information related to the monsoon season including flooding, winds, lightning, dust storms and wildfires.
WILDFIRE SEASON IS UPON US
Governor Ducey has issued an outlook for an especially difficult wildfire season because of record dry winter conditions. As of July 2018, large fire activity continues in 11 states where 1,130,233 acres have burned. More than 14,200 firefighters and support personnel are assigned to wildland fires across the country. Governor Ducey called on everyone to prevent fires across Arizona, where dry vegetation from the desert to pine forests has provided an abundance of fuel this year for destructive and sometimes deadly blazes. “Please be extra-cautious this fire season as you enjoy the great outdoors in Arizona,” said Ducey, adding that the majority of the wildfires around the state are caused by people’s activities. The season generally starts in the spring and continues through the fall, but wildfires can erupt anytime of the year. State Forester Jeff Whitney said that this year, people who live in areas vulnerable to wildfires should be prepared in case they are called upon to evacuate their homes, and to cooperate with authorities if asked to leave.