/ Modified jun 9, 2013 1:28 p.m.

Collaborative Effort Keeps an Eye On Wildfire

Multiple agencies share information and resources to monitor conditions and educate the public about fire safety

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Early June is considered by some to be the peak of wildfire season. Winter rains are a distant memory and the monsoon is still a few weeks away.

The high winds of spring and weeks of low humidity have dried fuels out, whether timber on Mount Lemmon, grasslands in Cochise County, or cacti and sage in the lower desert.

firefighter-burn-silhouette_160x210 A firefighter watches the flames at Kings Canyon/Sequoia National Park (PHOTO: National Interagency Fire Center)

But a lot of different sets of eyes are watching things. The slightest hint of smoke on public lands can illicit a large response.

That's because a number of different agencies collaborate to monitor wildfire conditions and respond if one ignites.

The U.S. National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, Arizona state foresters and others stay in close contact for the duration of the wildfire season.

They share information and resources, and work to educate the public about fire safety.

A group of representatives from some of these agencies recently gathered in the Arizona Public Media radio studios.

They offered fire safety tips, updated current conditions, and talked about the collaborative effort they've developed to keep the flames at bay.

Interviewed are Kristy Lund, Fire Staff Officer for the Coronado National Forest, Lindy Brigham, Executive Director of the Southern Arizona Buffelgrass Coordination Center, fire information specialist Mary Zabinski of the Southwest Coordination Center, Carrie Dennett, Fire Information and Prevention Officer for Arizona State Forestry, and Michelle Fidler, Fire Information and Education Specialist for Saguaro National Park.

Web extra interview:
Coronado National Forest spokeswoman Heidi Schewel assesses current staffing levels for wildfire crews, and says the agency has not been hit by budget cuts:

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Fire resources:
Arizona Emergency Information Network
Arizona fire restrictions page
National Interagency Fire Center
Inciweb National Incident Information System

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