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ACTIVE FIRE SEASON EXPECTED IN S. UTAH

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Searing heat and parched land promise to keep firefighters hopping this year to combat brush fires along the southern Utah-Arizona border.

Bette Ariel, public affairs officer with the Bureau of Land Management, said BLM firefighters already have battled two blazes."Each year it's different, but we usually have really hot, dry weather by this time and the fires start near the end of May," she said. "We expect an active fire season this year."

Ariel said overgrown brush that wasn't cleared by last year's fires likely will feed this year's flames.

"We've got lots of dry land," she said. "And with lightning and other events, we're going to have lots of little and big fires popping up all season."

This year between 16 and 20 firefighters will be on call 24 hours a day to respond to fire alarms, she said.