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Rain, cooler weather slows Ariz’s wildfire season

A slower-than-expected wildfire season so far is allowing firefighters around Arizona to shift from suppression to prevention.

Federal firefighters are managing prescribed burns to thin fuels and better protect high-risk cities such as Flagstaff, Prescott and Payson.

State firefighters are prohibited by law from igniting prescribed burns, but a dozen crews comprised of state Department of Corrections prisoners are thinning out the fuels on state lands.

Lower temperatures and more rain and humidity have dampened the fire season around the state with monsoon rains expected soon.

Through June 30, officials say 801 wildfires had been reported in Arizona, burning 77,845 acres, compared to 1,790 fires burning 101,636 acres in 2008.

In 2005, there were 4,007 wildfires around the state that charred 975,178 acres

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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