If you were in Cochise County in 2011, you probably remember the Monument Fire. In June of 2011, a wildfire started in the Huachuca Mountains and quickly spread across the area as high winds whipped it across the county.

Some residents and businesses in Hereford, Palominas, and Sierra Vista South were evacuated, and some even lost buildings as the fire spread throughout the area.

Wildfires in Arizona could be worst ever.
In 2011, the Monument Fire was one of the worst in Cochise County history. // Photo by Val Davidson/TSM

The scenario has been repeated across the Southwest many times in recent years. Anyone who's ever been under the threat of evacuation due to an approaching wildfire knows the stress and anxiety associated with the dangerous conditions.

Gathering belongings and ensuring family, pets, livestock, friends, and neighbors all have a safe place to land before the flames move in can be daunting.

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Will This Summer's Wildfires Be the Worst Yet?

This summer, there are reports that Arizona may be under an elevated risk of wildfire.

Wildfires in Arizona could be worst ever.
Wildfires can spread quickly. Be ready before it's too late. // Canva

The National Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook for June through September this year is making an ominous prediction for the southwest region of Arizona. The hot, dry conditions could be kindling for potential fires across the state and may lay the groundwork for a fire season that could be the worst yet.

READ: Are You Ready for Wildfire Season in Arizona?

The National Interagency Coordination Center echoes these sentiments, signaling above-normal significant fire potential for portions of southeast Arizona in early summer. Conditions are worse as the drought and increased temperatures continue to impact the area.

Wildfires in Arizona could be worst ever.
Clear brush and debris from around structures to keep wildfires from spreading. // Canva

Stay Prepared and Proactive in Case of Wildfires

As Arizona braces for the possibility of a fiery summer, it's important to have a plan in case wildfires strike.

  • Don't wait: Gather and maintain a go-bag for every member of your household, including pets and livestock.
  • Have a plan of action. Where will everyone meet, and how will you stay in contact if you're evacuated?
  • Gather important paperwork.  Documents like birth certificates, marriage licenses, DD-214s, should be in one location and ready to go.
  • Get Medication Ready. Make sure you have a supply of important medications, enough for at least three to five days.
  • Get Photographs Ready. After a fire or a disaster, victims often lament that they cannot replace photos or important mementos. Have those ready to grab in case you have to leave in a hurry.
Wildfires in Arizona could be worst ever.
Prepare go-bags before it's time to evacuate. // Canva

Right now, the forecast is a prediction, but getting ready before disaster strikes can save everyone a lot of time and headaches.

READ: Who Is The Largest Landowner in the State of Arizona?

Wildfires in Arizona could be worst ever.
Make sure pets are ready to evacuate. You may have to get them used to carriers and car rides. // Canva

[ Sources: Public News Service | Facebook/Monument-Fire | NIFC.gov ]

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Gallery Credit: Val Davidson/TSM