Gov. Brewer has signed a bill shielding cities and towns from large settlements relating to death or serious injury of public safety employees. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the bill was inspired by the deaths of 19 firefighters last summer during the Yarnell Hill Fire.
Stage 1 fire restrictions will go into effect Thursday for the Coronado National Forest and several other sites in southern Arizona. The same restrictions are currently in place in many other parts of the state including the Coconino, Kaibab, Prescott, Tonto and Apache-Sitgreaves national forests.
The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory until 5 p.m. today for much of northern Arizona. This includes the cities of Flagstaff, Prescott, Payson and Sedona. Expect sustained winds of 20 – 35 miles per hour and gusts of 40 – 45 miles per hour. Winds should gradually decrease throughout the day. Drivers on I-40 and I-17 may experience difficulty due to the wind.
Officials with northern Arizona’s national forests are reminding the public that despite the recent moisture across the region, Stage 1 fire restrictions are still in place. This applies to the Coconino, Kaibab, Prescott, Tonto and Apache-Sitgreaves national forests. Also, Coconino County as well as the cities of Flagstaff and Prescott are still implementing their own fire restrictions.
This week’s weather forecasts are calling for warm, dry and windy conditions, which officials say will dry our forest fuels and return the area to high fire danger.
A wildfire information preparedness meeting will be held at the Eager Town Hall Tue, April 29 at 6 p.m. It will be hosted by local fire departments, the U.S. Forest Service, emergency preparedness, public health, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, and managers of the Hazardous Fuels Reduction Grant Program.
The Coconino County Board of Supervisors has unanimously passed a resolution prohibiting the sale and use of consumer fireworks in unincorporated areas of the county. Today’s action immediately puts the ban into place. It will be in effect until the U.S. Forest Service lifts Stage 1 fire restrictions.
Today, the West’s amber waves of grass are more often than not a species land managers cringe to see. Cheatgrass, a Eurasian species that most likely arrived on ships a century ago, now runs across millions of acres of the Intermountain West and Colorado Plateau.
Officials with the U.S. Forest Service and the Flagstaff Fire Department are searching for persons of interest regarding a wildfire in Doney Park earlier in the week. The blaze scorched less than an acre and was quickly controlled by crews.
Two U.S. senators from Arizona and New Mexico will be discussing wildfire preparedness and forest restoration this week. Senators Jeff Flake and Martin Heinrich will tour the Eager area in eastern Arizona tomorrow and will end up in Reserve, New Mexico. According to the senators, the trip is part of a bipartisan effort to prevent catastrophic wildfire in the Apache-Sitgreaves and Gila national forests. On the agenda are fire-risk reduction and forest thinning strategies.
Today, Coconino County will conduct a large-scale test of a new system that warns residents during emergencies. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, officials are hoping it will be an effective replacement of the county’s old emergency system.