Deborah Lee Soltesz/Coconino National Forest/USFS

Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake have called on the U.S. Forest Service to increase the scale and speed of large forest-thinning projects in the state. They say more work is needed to protect the forests from catastrophic wildfire. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Chris Parish

A new study shows only about half of wild California condors live long enough to raise a chick.  The researchers found one of the threats faced by the endangered birds is wildfire.

Ryan Heinsius

Officials with the U.S. Forest Service and the City of Flagstaff have signed off on the final draft of the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project. It’s designed to thin National Forest land surrounding the city and safeguard it from the effects of catastrophic wildfire. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Ian Horvath, Flickr

The authors of a new commentary in Science magazine say forest managers should allow more naturally-ignited wildfires to burn. That’s already part of forest management in northern Arizona.

Melissa Sevigny

The Flagstaff Festival of Science begins today. People come from all over the world to experience the latest research on everything from Pluto to prehistoric plants. This year, the Festival features an art exhibit called Fires of Change. It’s the result of more than year of collaboration between scientists and artists who want to open up a new perspective about wildfire.


Two environmental groups have filed objections to a forest-thinning project designed to protect Flagstaff’s watershed from wildfire and flooding. The groups say the plan would have negative effects on the threatened Mexican spotted owl. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports. 

Ray Short/Courtesy

Authorities lifted an evacuation order Monday for most of the 1,000 homes that were once threatened by the 10-square-mile Willow Fire near the Arizona-California line.

Byron Steward, emergency management coordinator for Mohave County, estimates that only 100 homes in the Topock area southeast of Bullhead City will remain evacuated because they're located near 11 structures that were burned Saturday.

USDA Forest Service Active Fire Mapping Program

The U.S. Forest Service now has a better view of wildfires from space, thanks to a new agreement with NASA.

The agreement gives wildland fire managers access to data from a satellite imaging system called VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite). In the daytime, VIIRS can theoretically detect a flaming fire just 50 square meters—about the size of a small house. At night, VIIRS can detect a fire five times smaller. That’s an improvement on current technology, called MODIS, which routinely detects wildfires about 1,000 square meters in size.

Jim Dougherty

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved an amendment to a bill that would limit the president’s ability to set aside federal lands for conservation. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the move is aimed in part at preventing the possible designation of a Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument.

Ryan Heinsius

After an environmental analysis and a public comment period, Coconino National Forest managers have outlined the details of the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, it’s designed to prevent the effects of wildfire and flooding from threatening the city’s water supply.