Fire Season 2014


The recent public comment period for the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project yielded more than 500 issues for managers to consider. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, many local residents voiced concerns about how the large-scale forest-thinning project will be monitored.

Managers on northern Arizona’s forests are gearing up for an active prescribed-burn season this fall. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, conditions are favorable for a variety of fire-mitigation projects. 

David Kadlubowski/AP

Last week the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Catastrophic Wildfire Protection Act. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, it’s designed to shore up national firefighting efforts while developing business opportunities.

Heather Noel/Coconino National Forest

After northern Arizona’s sixth driest winter on record, forest managers anticipated a busier-than-normal wildfire season in 2014. But, as Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the season was less extreme than expected.

Over Labor Day weekend, nearly three dozen abandoned campfires were reported on the Coconino National Forest. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the number represents a major uptick over previous years.

Ryan Heinsius

The Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project is a major forest-thinning initiative set to begin in 2015. It’s designed to safeguard vulnerable areas near Flagstaff against wildfire and mitigate some of its most destructive after effects. In 2012, Flagstaff voters approved $10 million for the project and now the Forest Service has proposed four options for possible treatments, including cable logging, something never before done in the area. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius recently spoke with the project’s manager, Erin Phelps, and asked, “What exactly is cable logging?” 

Ryan Heinsius

The public comment period for a major forest-thinning project in the Flagstaff area will end Mon, Aug. 18. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the project could involve heavy thinning in some of Flagstaff’s most picturesque areas.

Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests

A personal finance website has ranked Arizona as the 10th most at-risk state for natural disaster. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, major wildfires caused by persistent drought contributed to the Grand Canyon State making the list.

Coconino National Forest officials are actively managing four lightning-caused fires. All are burning at a low intensity on the forest floor. As on the Kaibab National Forest, these fires are being used to increase safety, reduce fuels and for vegetation and wildlife habitat restoration.

The 300-acre Willard Fire is burning south of Flagstaff between Oak Creek Canyon and I-17 near the Willard Springs Interchange. Smoke may be visible from Kachina Village, Mountainaire, Munds Park and Sedona.

Kaibab National Forest

Managers on the Kaibab National Forest have been taking advantage of wetter conditions by allowing multiple wildfires to burn. But, as Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, with drier weather on the way, crews are preparing for more unpredictable fire activity.