Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Az wildfire season tamest since ’01, but lots burned across U.S.

MESA – Wildfires in Arizona this season burned the fewest acres since 2001, and the state is on pace to have the third fewest burned acres in a decade.

Less than 64,000 acres were consumed by wildfires through mid-September, the Southwest Coordination Center said. That compares to yearlong totals of more than 152,000 acres burned last year and more than 762,000 burned in 2005.

In 2001, more than 30,000 acres were burned.

State forester Kirk Rowdabaugh said the number of fires started by humans dropped nearly 30 percent from last year, to 1,055.

This year, wildfires have charred 8.2 million acres nationwide, which is approaching last year’s record of 9.9 million acres.

Seven firefighters have died battling those blazes, which destroyed more than 400 homes, a dramatic increase from last year.

Fire managers said their job has become more hazardous because of an onslaught of newly built houses and vacation cabins, some inside national forests. An estimated 8.6 million houses have been built within 30 miles of a national forest since 1982.

John Watson, a Fairfield, Mont., firefighting contractor said “I’ve asked them, ‘Do you understand the danger?’ There isn’t a whole lot that needs to be done to mitigate the threat, but they won’t do it.”

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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