History is notorious for repeating itself. Eleven years ago yesterday, the Rodeo Fire started on the Fort Apache Reservation. Two days later, the Chediski Fire was reported. The two fires eventually merged, becoming the second-largest wildfire in Arizona history. The Wallow Fire, in 2011, surpassed Rodeo-Chediski when it burned more than 538,000 acres. Despite the devastation of those two human-caused fires, it seems not everyone was paying attention. The proof? Yesterday, on the anniversary of Rodeo-Chediski, the Doce Fire started 8 miles northwest of Prescott. According to officials, the cause was human. The fire has already consumed 7,000 acres of forest, and containment is at zero percent.
The Leave No Trace principles exist to help prevent fires like Doce from happening. Yet, as we learned just a few weeks ago, people either don’t care or don’t listen, which likely explains why more than 70 illegal campfires were discovered on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests over Memorial Day weekend.
So, here we go again. Homes have been evacuated, and the American Red Cross has already set up an evacuation center at Yavapai College. Let’s hope that this fire is contained soon.
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