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Arizona's fire resources in good shape for now

PHOENIX -- Arizona's wildfire season is underway about a month earlier than usual and the manpower and air tanker numbers needed to battle fires are in good shape, said a fire official.

Prescott Fire Division Chief Darrel Willis, however, said those resources are going to be stretched thin once the rest of the West starts burning.

"We're the bull's-eye now in Arizona but in the next couple of months Nevada and California will start seeing wildfires," Willis said. "California is in terrible shape from the drought. We will start competing with other states for resources. This could be a very, very long fire season."

The O'Donnell fire near Elgin burned almost 600 acres in southeastern Arizona over the weekend and so far is the largest wildfire of the year in Arizona. That fire is almost fully contained.

The Brown Fire in the Huachuca Mountains near Sierra Vista burned 240 acres and is 90 percent contained.

About the Author

Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.


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