Officials: 2014 fire season underway in AZ, NM - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

UPDATE

Officials: 2014 fire season underway in AZ, NM

PHOENIX (CBS5/AP) -

Recent warm weather, dry conditions and a spate of brush fires on the outskirts of major cities of Arizona and New Mexico are prompting a year-round threat of wildfires.

In the Albuquerque area, Lt. Michael Everett of the Bernalillo County Fire Department said there's been little rain or snow and that everybody need be aware of the early fire threat and very careful.

In Arizona, Rural Metro spokesman Colin Williams said conditions in some places on the outskirts of the Phoenix area resemble the brush-choked area where 19 firefighters perished last year in the Yarnell Hill Fire.

There's also concern in timber country where lower than normal precipitation levels have left forests vulnerable.

The Arizona Insurance Council, a non-profit, said threats to private property in and bordering forested areas have dramatically increased.

"Each year, during Arizona's wildfire season, thousands of homes, businesses and other structures are threatened by wildland fires," said Nicole Farr of the Arizona Insurance Council (AIC). "Including autos, boats and other personal property, the economic losses in 2014 could be millions of dollars."

Arizona Firewise, a cooperative effort of state and federal forest, wildfire and wildlife organizations, recommends the following tips:

  • If the home is on flat land surrounded by grassland, create a 30-foot defensible space zone around the home. If the home sits on a slope with adjacent vegetation that is dense or has tall brush, create defensible space of at least 200 feet.
  • Prune trees near structures and remove excess ground fuels such as fallen needles, cones and branches.
  • Pile firewood and other flammables well away from home and other structures.
  • Keep access roads free of debris and vegetation to improve access and escape in case of fire.
  • Clean debris from roofs and gutters.
  • Consider constructing or renovating with fire resistant building materials.
  • Review your homeowner's policy.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation) contributed to this report.

  • Hawaii News Now headlinesNewsMore>>

  • breaking

    Number of structures destroyed by lava soars to 82; eruptions continue

    Number of structures destroyed by lava soars to 82; eruptions continue

    Friday, May 25 2018 8:41 PM EDT2018-05-26 00:41:18 GMT
    Lava claims a home in lower Puna as flows continue in the area. (Image: Isaac Krakauer/Facebook)Lava claims a home in lower Puna as flows continue in the area. (Image: Isaac Krakauer/Facebook)

    Several additional homes in lower Puna have been destroyed by fast-moving lava over the last day, according to residents and witnesses. 

    More >>

    Several additional homes in lower Puna have been destroyed by fast-moving lava over the last day, according to residents and witnesses. 

    More >>
  • Investigators on Maui recover body of apparent muder victim near Kahikinui

    Investigators on Maui recover body of apparent muder victim near Kahikinui

    Friday, May 25 2018 8:38 PM EDT2018-05-26 00:38:27 GMT
    (image provided by Pacheco family)(image provided by Pacheco family)

    Family members of a 45-year-old man who is believed to have been murdered on Tuesday say his body was recovered in Kahikinui on Friday afternoon. 

    More >>

    Family members of a 45-year-old man who is believed to have been murdered on Tuesday say his body was recovered in Kahikinui on Friday afternoon. 

    More >>
  • Korea summit after all? Trump says 'everybody plays games'

    Korea summit after all? Trump says 'everybody plays games'

    Friday, May 25 2018 8:55 AM EDT2018-05-25 12:55:25 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 8:24 PM EDT2018-05-26 00:24:57 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File). FILE - In this Thursday, May 24, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump speaks about North Korea before signing the "Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act," in the Roosevelt Room of the White Hou...(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File). FILE - In this Thursday, May 24, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump speaks about North Korea before signing the "Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act," in the Roosevelt Room of the White Hou...
    President Donald Trump is welcoming North Korea's statement that it was still willing to meet despite his cancellation of the summit.More >>
    President Donald Trump is welcoming North Korea's statement that it was still willing to meet despite his cancellation of the summit.More >>
Powered by Frankly