For the first time since 2010, campfires will be allowed on Memorial Day weekend on the region’s national forests. As Arizona Public Radio’s Aaron Granillo reports, steady rainfall during the past few month means there are no fire restrictions in effect.
Every day this week, we've been hearing from some of the people closest to last year's Slide Fire in Oak Creek Canyon. We've checked in with investigators, evacuees, emergency responders and firefighters. And today, we hear from two fire scientists about the ecological recovery of the burn area. We start with Rory Steinke, Watershed Manager for the Coconino National Forest and leader of the Burn Area Emergency Response Team.
An endangered Mexican gray wolf has been shot and killed by wildlife officials in western New Mexico. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the federally protected animal had been involved in so-called “nuisance behavior.”
Our Slide Fire series continues today with a look at how cell phones worked - and DIDN'T work in Oak Creek Canyon during the fire. Thousands of visitors drive through the scenic switchbacks every day. But once they descend below the canyon's rim, cell phones generally become useless. In an emergency situation, there's no 911 access for several miles. As KJZZ's Laurel Morales reports, that was a big problem when the Slide Fire broke out.
KNAU's Slide Fire series continues with a special installment of Brain Food. In early May of 2014, Coconino County emergency responders practiced a community disaster exercise. At the time, none of the participants knew just how soon they'd have to use it in "real time".
The public comment period for the Arizona Department of Transportation’s Five-Year Plan ends next week. It includes an upgrade to the state-owned Grand Canyon National Park Airport. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, conservationists have raised concerns about the project’s potential effects on the Canyon.
Two former Navajo Nation lawmakers have pleaded no contest in a criminal case, avoiding a trial on charges that they used their positions to enrich their families financially.
Jack Colorado and Harry Clark signed plea agreements with prosecutors Monday, the same day jury selection was to begin.
The men entered pleas to a single count each of eroding Navajos' confidence in the integrity of their government — the lessor offense of conspiracy to commit bribery. Prosecutors will drop six counts of bribery against each of the men after sentencing, which hasn't been set.
Fire fighting personnel observe smoke from the Slide Fire from the Oak Creek Overlook in May 2014. Eventually, more than 1,000 people were on hand to fight the fire which grew to more than 21,000 acres.
When fighting the Slide Fire one year ago, crews had to negotiate some of the most challenging terrain in the Southwest along with extremely dry and windy conditions. The 21,000-acre fire became the largest in the history of the Coconino National Forest, and more than a thousand personnel were called in to fight it. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius recently spoke with Coconino National Forest Fire Staff Officer Don Muise about how what officials and firefighters approached battling the blaze and what they took away from the experience.