PHOENIX – Arizona is entering a dangerous time for wildfires — some of the worst in Arizona history have sparked in mid-June.
A lot of these wildfires have now become engraved in our state’s history. Ones like the Rodeo-Chedeski Fire, The Wallow Fire and the Yarnell Hill Fire.
Many people still remember these raging fires and where they were when they first sparked. However, no one knows that better than Jim Cross from 92.3 KTAR.
He covered almost all of these historic blazes and now he’s concerned the current conditions may lead to another one.
Cross says the devastating aftermath is something he’ll never forget.
“There are parts up around the Rodeo Fire and Wallow Fire areas…beautiful areas. They’ll never be the same again. It takes decades for the trees to ever come back. Fifty, a 100 years..100 hundred years,” Cross added.
No one knows the dangers of fires better than those on the front lines fighting them back.
Phoenix Fire Captain Al DiBenedetto says he’s on alert given the current conditions.
“The fuel out there is darn near explosive. And it only takes a little spark to get things going. So yeah I am concerned,” DiBenedetto said.
He fought the Rodeo-Chediski Fire, the Yarnell Hill Fire and just came back from the front lines of the Tinder Fire.
He says these blazes don’t always burn fair. The flames can spread unevenly and spare random areas and homes-while charring others.
But, what is most frustrating for him, is that most of them could’ve been prevented.
He says, “You get these man-caused fires and what happens is…People lose their homes. They lose their livelihoods because of a careless person.”
He’s reminding everyone to not let chains drag from vehicles, ever flick cigarette butts out the window and pay attention to the fire restrictions.