Arizona House To Study Wildfire And Forest Management
The Arizona House has created an ad hoc Committee on Forest and Wildfire Management.
Arizona’s wildfires are burning bigger and hotter, and in June, several homes in the Globe area were lost, including a property that belonged to House Speaker Rusty Bowers.
The Legislature would like to learn more about federal efforts to manage the forest and what the state can do on the local level.
Bowers said the Telegraph Fire and post-fire flooding were devastating.
“Our house burned down and our barns burned down and we basically lost everything above ground: The trees, the forest, the apple trees, everything burned. And it went in style, I mean it was, it’s the Bowers' ruin now,” Bowers said.
Most of the state's forests are on federal lands, which means the state frequently lacks the jurisdiction to thin fuel loads.
But both the state and federal agencies are looking for ways around that problem.
The Legislature has already injected more money into the state forestry department. The state has also begun to work with federal agencies to clear fuel from the forest.