For those who may be new to the desert, the monsoon season officially started on June 15th. We haven’t had any actual rain from it, though. That means our lovely desert is a bit on the dry side. At last count, I think we have 19 fires currently making their way across our state.
One of the local weather anchors stated that because our winter was so wet, we didn’t warmed up enough, early enough to have actual showers at the start of the monsoon season. So far, that seems to be a true assessment…although, it has been plenty hot for my taste. That asphalt is hot in the middle of the day when you have to hook up a car.
Without the rain, our desert has dried to tinder and the fires are cooking. According to AZ Central, there are over 700 firefighters working to contain a fire that has exceeded 40,000 acres. That is a lot of desert. At this point, there are no evacuations, but local residents have a front row seat to the devastation and smoke.
With Independence Day two weeks away, it’s a good time to remind folks to be smart about your choices. If you are going to shoot off fireworks, make sure you are not in an area covered in dry vegetation, make sure you know the correct way to discharge any fireworks you purchase to keep yourself, your family/friends safe, and your property or the land safe. Don’t leave fires unattended, and make sure any flames are fully extinguished before you walk away. Don’t throw cigarette butts out of your windows or on the ground where dry vegetation may ignite.
Being a holiday, there are many who will choose to drink. Please remember not to drink and drive. Find a ride, bring along a designated driver, call a cab….or call a tow service to take you and your car home safely. If you happen to be travelling around the state, maybe looking for a lake to spend the weekend or holiday around; be mindful of road conditions. The wind can change in a moment and push smoke into your pathway. Drivers around the state can call 511 to check on traffic conditions and road closures.
Be safe out there! Have a safe and happy Independence Day!