KNAU and Arizona News
1:14 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

City Manager Urges Spending $6 Million for Forest Thinning

It goes without saying that a forest fire near Flagstaff’s city borders would be catastrophic.

It could destroy homes and property and endanger lives.

But that’s just the beginning, says Flagstaff City Manager Kevin Burke.

“If we had a forest fire on Dry Lake Hills similar to what we saw on the Shultz Pass on the other side, and we saw those sorts of flooding afterwards, we could see flows 10 times what we’re modeling for a 100-year flood in the Rio de Flag,” he says. “The flooding would be extraordinary, and the damage would be inconceivable.”

He is urging the city to contribute $6 million to the federal government’s forest thinning plans.

He says the forest near Upper Lake Mary also needs to be thinned because ash and debris from a fire there could contaminate half of the city’s drinking water supply.

He’s asking Council to put the issue to the voters in the upcoming November election.