A photograph of a well-developed pyrocumulus cloud produced by a bushfire in the Gila River Valley southwest of Phoenix, Arizona. The charred trail left by the fire front can be seen in the background behind the Sierra Estrella. This picture was taken from a Piper Warrior at 5500 feet over Rainbow Valley in 2008 (CC BY 3.0)


Wildfire is a natural part of a desert ecosystem, but it becomes problematic when it impacts people or destroys habitat. Wildfire can happen any month in Arizona, but most wildfires occur March through June. Wildfiire can be initiated by natural events such as lightning, or by human events, such as campfires, downed powerlines, or parking a car over dry brush. Monsoon thunderstorms can initiate wildfires if there is lightning with limited precipitation (sometimes called “dry lightning”).

NIFC Monthly/Seasonal Outlook

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Current status
Current reports


Significant Fire Potential


Monthly Outlooks