On the heels of a dry winter, the 2018 fire season arrived early for northern Arizona. The previous winter had seen approximately one third the normal precipitation levels in the Mogollon Rim area. April was particularly dry and windy, with unseasonably warm daytime temperatures. Four Red Flag Warnings had been issued by the National Weather Service for the area since April 1. Daytime highs were often five to ten degrees above normal. The area where the Tinder Fire started had seen 25% of normal precipitation for the month. Stage I fire restrictions had been implemented April 23 in response to the dangerously dry conditions, strong winds, and forecast warm weather. In the days leading up to the Tinder Fire, temperatures were 10 to 15 degrees above normal.
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