For that country to be burning at all, even at only 1.5 acres, in mid May is not a good sign. I worked for the Forest Service in Arizona on the Kaibab NF and in New Mexico on the Cibola NF from 1973 to 1981 and was used to the one or two year droughts we had then. This current drought in the southwest is incredible and one sign of it is when the Santa Fe has starts in early May. If it did have starts in mid May they could have been allowed to burn and if not, they didn't need water dropping helicopters. The Lincoln having starts in April is not unusual. The large fires on the Carson NF in the past several years were unheard of in the seventies. Working on the Carson NF in fire management then was almost like working in fire management on the National Forests in Alaska, that is, all your fire experience was gained on off Forest assignments.
I just reread the SWGACC news and saw the starts of mid Feburary on the Tonto and Coronodo. Incredibile! Looking at the national incident situation report and the total of some 2.3 million acres burned so far could indicate a record year could be reached this year. Time will tell.
In 2004 fuel moisture was at record low levels all over the west at both low altitudes and high altitudes, and incredibly early, unprecedented actually. Everyone thought it would be the biggest fire season of all time and then nothing happened. Most of us thought we would be seeing something bigger than 2000 and 2002 combined. You can't always tell what is going to happen using early season indicators.