Historically slow start to Arizona’s wildfire season

Data courtesy: Southwest Coordination Center
Data courtesy: Southwest Coordination Center

Despite the development of the Bunk Robinson Fire, Arizona is halfway through a wildfire season that’s failed to show up.

As of the morning of May 20th, the state has a grand total of zero wildfires larger than 100 acres in 2015. This is the fewest fires recorded, according to available data going back to 2000 from the Southwest Coordination Center. Based on the last 10 years, roughly 10 large wildfires have scorched Arizona by mid May. 13 blazes greater than 100 acres charred the state at this time in 2014.

Thank the developing El Niño, which is fueling May storm systems rather than wildfires. Also helping matters – the fact we’re coming off a wet Winter and that drought conditions haven’t increased in almost two months. An amazing feat considering Tucson’s average rainfall this month is a mere 0.23″. Instead, we’re running a rainfall surplus of 0.72″ for 2015.

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