Gov. Ducey delivers 2022 wildfire outlook

FILE - Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey re-delivers his State of the State address in front of a Yuma...
FILE - Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey re-delivers his State of the State address in front of a Yuma crowd Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022 inside Pivot Point Conference Center. Ducey has signed legislation on Friday, March 25, 2022, that will prevent temporary medical licenses issued under his coronavirus executive orders from immediately becoming invalid if he ends the state of emergency he issued two years ago. (Randy Hoeft/The Yuma Sun via AP)((Randy Hoeft/The Yuma Sun via AP))
Published: Mar. 31, 2022 at 12:25 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey held a news conference on what firefighters statewide are expected to handle in the upcoming wildfire season. The National Interagency Fire Center reported earlier this month that as of Mar. 1, the total numbers of fires and acres burned so far in 2022 are nearly double the 10-year average. While most of those fires have been happening in the southern U.S, Arizona is dealing with a significant drought.

Every year, state, federal, and local agencies conduct a “multi-day wildland fire training.” It allows firefighters to train in the classroom and out in the field. Firefighters have to take a refresher course and pass tests that show that they can work under strenuous and extreme heat conditions.

Last year, the Arizona Healthy Forest Initiative was crafted by Ducey’s administration. The announcement came on the heels of the state’s “second-most severe” year of wildfires, based on the state’s count of acres burned. The initiative helped increase funding so that more land could get annual treatment. It also increased the number of grants for hazardous vegetation removal and work with organizations to conduct wildfire risk reduction programs. The Governor’s Office says the budget puts $36 million toward the initiative this year. It also gives $17 million to increase the Fire Suppression Revolving Fund.