Due to the uptick in fire activity in the Northwestern portion of Maricopa County, the Department of Forestry and Fire Management plans to hold a public meeting in Wittmann, this week, in an effort to reduce the number of fire starts in the area.

The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 12, from 6 - 7:30 p.m. in the gymnasium of Nadaburg Elementary School, at 21419 W. Dove Valley Road in Wittmann.

DFFM and its cooperators will discuss the current situation and address residents’ concerns.

Since April 2019, firefighters have responded to numerous wildfires in the Wickenburg and Wittmann-areas, five fires have burned a combined 5,000 acres.

The earlier fires, Painted Wagon, Forest, and Patton all started within weeks of one another and burned a total of 1,200 acres. Most recently, the Dove and White Wing Fires burned a total of 4,000 acres.

While the White Wing Fire remains under investigation, the Painted Wagon, Forest, Patton, and Dove Fires were all determined to be human caused. When activity started to increase last month, DFFM sent a fire behavior analyst to evaluate the burn areas. The specialist determined the abundance of last year’s moisture led to a significant amount of grass growth throughout the Sonoran Desert, which includes the Wickenburg and the Wittmann locations.

In the past, fires started by outdoor activities were able to be suppressed easier. Now, the overgrowth of grasses is causing fires to start quicker, burn at a higher intensity, and grow rapidly.

DFFM, Arizona Fire and Medial Authority, the Bureau of Land Management, Circle City/Morristown Fire Department, Peoria Fire- Medical Department, and Wickenburg Fire Department will be in attendance. For more information, contact Tiffany Davila at 602-540-1036 or by email at tdavila@dffm.az.gov

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