Google and Pepsi donate money to help repair watershed damaged by 1990 Dude Fire

By Ron Dungan
Published: Tuesday, September 12, 2023 - 9:20am
Updated: Wednesday, September 13, 2023 - 5:18pm

When Google announced plans to build a data center in Mesa, it said it will use air instead of water to cool the facility. The tech giant will take additional steps toward water conservation.

In 1990, the Dude Fire killed six firefighters and left a burn scar on the East Verde River watershed that fire managers continue to restore.

Salt River Project says Google will donate $150,000 to one of its restoration projects.

Firefighters congregate in burned area on the Dude Fire
U.S. Forest Service
Firefighters congregate in burned area on the Dude Fire in 1990.

Elvy Barton, a spokewoman for SRP, said that part of the project involves removing brushy growth and restoring ponderosa pines about 11 miles north of Payson.

"A healthy forest means that we have a more resilient watershed and local ecosystems which not only benefits trees and animals, but also all the people that rely on those water supplies," Barton said.

She says that Pepsi will donate a quarter of a million dollars to another project in the area.

Environment Water