This summer has been devastating for the natural forests in the Grand Canyon State. Wildfires started early and are burning through the mountains and forests suffering in an extreme drought.
Tuesday (July 6) while driving home from the Grand Canyon, we noticed the smell of smoke in the car before we spotted plumes rising above Crown King in the Prescott National Forest. It’s one of several blazes firefighters are struggling to bring under control in Arizona.
The smoke we saw is from the Tiger Fire. Officials say the ten thousand acre blaze was started by a lightning strike during recent monsoonal storms which brought much needed rain to our little corner of the valley, but even the other side of our neighborhood remained dry.
The extreme drought throughout State 48 has prompted officials to close the National Forests – like Kaibab, Coconino and Prescott. With few exceptions, the fire danger is so high, it poses a risk to public health and safety.
So what does this mean? Well, if you have a trip planned to a natural area in the west, you should keep an eye on your destination. The fire danger spreads to Yellowstone, Yosemite and nearly every other famous tourist destination.
It also means we should all not only be aware of the risks, but do everything we can to help. If you see smoke – report it immediately! If you see emergency equipment – get out of the way! Don’t do anything that can add to the danger – campfires are banned, smokers should refrain from lighting up unless there’s an appropriate receptacle for matches and butts. If you’re towing a trailer, make sure your chains don’t drag and potentially cause sparks.
Be aware that no matter where you travel, you could be evacuated. Be ready. Be safe.
There’s a whole world out there just waiting to be explored. Let’s all do what we can to keep our world safe from fire.