Arizona is facing the risks of the most dangerous wildfires in years. According to Governor Doug Ducey and the chief forester of the state, the danger is already starting. By this time last year, less than 500 acres burned; however, this year at least 25,000 acres have already burned. Things do not look good particularly since Arizona is now facing a potentially significant wildfire season.
As the wildfire season approaches, it should serve as a reminder of destructive consequences. There are a high number of tourists in the state of Arizona in the middle of the fire season and carelessness can result into a destructive fire. In June 1977, 4,600 acres were burned in Mount Elden due to an abandoned camp fire. In 1996, crown fire burned 16,000 acres west of the San Francisco Peaks. On the same year, a Horseshoe fire burned 8,100 acres 14 miles north of Flagstaff. The origin of the fire was stash residues that were left still smoldering by a timber sales operator. The residue burst into flames on a dry and windy day of mid-May.
The Brins Mesa fire of 2006 burned more than 4,000 acres and it was ignited by unattended campfire. Another fire that started from an abandoned campfire burned 15,000 acres after which there was post massive flooding due to the efforts to put off the fire. The state of Arizona is looking at patterns so that it can prepare for wildfire conditions. They remember the previous years and it is being used to make predictions.
Governor Whitney acknowledged that one of the perennial issues is when to fight fires and when to contain them. The goal now is to find a solution that is ecologically appropriate. It is also important to have a proper assessment of risks. Fortunately, there are predictive tools today that can tell when it is going to be hotter and drier or where the wind is going to blow.
An Arizona Illustrated Map may not be the solution to stop wildfires but it is a panoramic map illustration that surprisingly features places of interest in the state. An illustrated map was created for Budget Travel magazine.