State Capitol News
10:19 am
Thu December 5, 2013

State Forestry Division Fined for Yarnell Hill Fire Deaths

The state Industrial Commission Wednesday imposed the maximum $559,000 fine possible on the state Forestry Division following the deaths of 19 firefighters earlier this year at Yarnell Hill. Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fischer reports.

Read more
4:56 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Fire Study Stirs Controversy

Green Knoll Wildfire in Jackson, Wyoming,

A controversial study that questions decades of forest ecology research has made headlines across the country. The study -- published earlier this year -- raised eyebrows especially in the west where forest managers have been trying to prevent severe wildfires for decades.

Read more
KNAU and Arizona News
4:00 am
Thu September 6, 2012

How to Repair a Fire-Damaged Forest

The debris that was removed from one of the under-road drainage pipes beneath Crown King Road.
Zac Ziegler

When this summer’s monsoons hit, officials from the Prescott National Forest worried.

Read more
3:47 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Fire Starts by the Numbers

While New Mexico has received enough rain to lift some fire restrictions, other parts of the southwest are still dry. That makes them vulnerable to lightning sparked fires, as well as human caused fires.

Humans start about half of the fires in the southwest. In southern California it’s a lot more -- about 90 percent are caused by people. Fire managers say the closer you get to a big city, where the population is dense, the more human caused fires. The top causes are unattended campfires, trash pile burning and arson.

Read more
10:35 am
Wed June 13, 2012

Fearing Fire, Flagstaff Cracks Down on Homeless in Forests

The southwest as a region has the highest number of homeless people in the nation.  

A desperate economy and rising temperatures have forced more people who are homeless to take shelter in the cooler national forests, like the San Bernardino in southern California and the Coconino in northern Arizona. Forest officials are concerned -- more people in the woods means more wildfires.  

Two summers ago, a homeless man living in the Flagstaff woods sparked a fire that threatened 170 homes. 

Read more
KNAU and Arizona News
12:02 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

The Hard Work of Putting Out Wildfires

A view of the Gladiator Fire at the end of its first week from Fire Management Team headquarters in Mayer, AZ
Zac Ziegler KNAU

Scenes of wildfires are almost commonplace this time of year in the southwest

Photos of billowing smoke and threatening orange flames…

Firefighters weighted down with equipment…

Homeowners looking weary and frightened…

Behind the dramatic images though are sometimes hundreds of men and women putting in long hours in poor conditions, doing dangerous work.

Media reports about the Gladiator Fire, southeast of Prescott, routinely mentioned rough terrain slowing down fire fighters.

Here’s an idea of just how rough that terrain is.

Read more
KNAU and Arizona News
6:25 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Gila Fire on Pace to Break Record

Gila Wilderness Fire May 25, 2012
US Forest Service

A wildfire raging out of control in southwestern New Mexico grew by 30 square miles overnight Monday.  The massive blaze is on track to become the largest in the state's history.

Whipped by strong winds, the Whitewater Baldy Complex fire is expected to break the record set by last year's devastating Las Conchas wildfire that scorched 244 square miles.  It's burned at least a dozen summer cabins and is a long way from containment. 

Read more
KNAU and Arizona News
9:16 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Firecrews Making Progress on Gladiator Fire

Airtanker Drops Retardant on Gladiator Fire, May 20, 2012
Kari Greer US Forest Service

Red Flag warnings are causing the Gladiator Fire to spread quicker than it has in recent days. 

The damage increased over 600 acres since Monday.  It now stands at just over 15,600 acres.

Control numbers continue to rise, with the fire now 26% contained.

Some of the resources used on the fire are being diverted to new wildfires in Arizona.

Gerry Perry with the Gladiator Fire Incident Management Team:

“We did lose four air tankers that left for other fires.”

That leaves the fire crew with two flame-retardant dropping planes.

Read more
KNAU and Arizona News
7:15 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Fire Season Has Arizonans On Edge

Staff and volunteers at Second Chance Center for Animals in Flagstaff evacuate hundreds of homeless animals during the Schultz Fire
Second Chance Center for Animals

This is the time of year when a puff of smoke on the horizon can raise the hair on the back of your neck. Is it a prescribed burn? Or is it the makings of the state's next massive wildfire? Arizona has experienced two of the largest forest fires in recorded state history in the last decade. And, as Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris Kohl reports, the onset of fire season has a lot of Arizonans on edge.

Flagstaff resident Lisa Skinner grew up in a household of firefighters and has been ready to evacuate her whole life.

Read more
9:00 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Experts: Drought, Climate Change Make Mega Fires Inevitable

The Wallow Fire burns in the distance
Michel Marizco

Several large wildfires continue to burn in Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico. Severe drought led to an aggressive start to this year’s fire season.

Read more