/ Modified sep 16, 2013 11:29 a.m.

Monsoons Cut Fire Season Short; Longer Outlook Grim

100,000 acres burned in AZ this year, but heavy winter rains, snow needed to lessen future danger.

The long-term wildfire threat remains grim in Arizona even after a strong array of monsoon storms doused fires and shortened this year's season.

Forest and weather experts say it will take a wet winter with heavy snow to turn around the wildfire risk by putting significant moisture into the ground.

The Arizona Republic reported Monday that wildfires burned nearly 100,000 acres through late August.

The Arizona fire season became the deadliest in the nation in 80 years when 19 firefighters were killed June 30 in the Yarnell Hill Fire near Prescott.

The summer acreage total is well below those of some previous years.

The Wallow Fire, biggest in Arizona history, burned more than 538,000 acres in 2011. In 2002, the Rodeo-Chediski Fire burned approximately 469,000 acres. Both of those fires were in heavily timbered eastern Arizona.

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