Firefighting Resources To Be Stretched Thin As Arizona Fire Season Grows Longer

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Thursday, July 1, 2021 - 12:08pm
Updated: Thursday, July 1, 2021 - 12:21pm

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A firefighter works the burnout for the Rafael Fire on June 27, 2021.

President Joe Biden and Vice President Harris held a virtual meeting June 30 with 11 governors of western states and several federal officials to discuss the raging wildfires that are consuming lands west of the Plains.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey was notably absent from the meeting despite the fact that the state is currently battling 26 separate wildfires and has dealt with more than 1,100 outbreaks this year. Ducey was not invited by the White House to this meeting, nor were the governors of Montana and Idaho.

Discussions included raising firefighter pay, increasing the use of satellites and technology and investing in infrastructure. There was acknowledgement that these fires are increasing in frequency and intensity year over year, and that it is creating strains on firefighting resources.

Steve Pyne is a professor emeritus at Arizona State University, the author of several books and an expert in wildfire management. The Show spoke with him to hear his concerns about our ability to battle these fires, and if resources will continue to be stressed going forward.

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