Flagstaff, AZ (3/2/2023) – The Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management proudly announces the allocation of $27 million to help Coconino County and its residents deal with the after effects of multiple wildfires, including the most recent, the Pipeline Fire in 2022.
“This allocation of state money to communities severely impacted by wildfires reflects a continued commitment by state government to local governments dealing with the devastating results of severe wildfires. I appreciate the diligence of emergency responders and elected officials in their efforts to collectively respond to the emergency needs of our citizens and property owners,” says DFFM Director, Thomas Torres.
Last month, DFFM received two assistance requests from the City of Flagstaff and Coconino County Flood Control District to address separate projects. The first request for $16.1 million helps repair Flagstaff’s Inner Basin water pipeline along with Waterline and Schultz Pass Roads, which suffered catastrophic damage due to flooding after the Pipeline Fire. According to the funding request from the City of Flagstaff’s Emergency Management Office, the Inner Basin pipeline holds a significant supply of potable water for residents in and around the Flagstaff area. That pipeline also provides water for firefighting needs. City officials requested the money to repair and reinforce that pipeline and both roads to insure the continued safety of Flagstaff residents.
The Coconino County Flood Control District requested approximately $10.9 million to match funding already provided by the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service. DFFM’s match funding leverages almost $50 million in federal funding for neighborhood-related flood mitigation work stemming from multiple wildfires, including the Schultz and Pipeline Fires.
“Last summer’s two major wildfires and the post wildfire flooding that followed devastated portions of Coconino County. Our congressional delegation, together with District staff, were quick to secure almost $50 million in federal funding, which required a 25% County match, which is a huge commitment of funds but essential for long-term mitigation for our devastated communities. This Department of Forestry and Fire Management’s funding will be used to meet the County’s match. This means that the County can accept all federal funds available to the County, without having to decrease County programs and services, which would have been necessary to meet the federal match requirement. Arizona, through its DFFM funding, has really come through for Coconino County,” says Coconino County Board of Supervisors/Flood Control District Chair, Patrice Horstman.
The county previously received federal funding from both of Arizona’s senators and the Coconino National Forest to assist with the significant lift associated with their post-wildfire mitigation and repair efforts.
DFFM’s $26 million to Coconino County stems from HB 2001, legislation passed in June 2021 to support the agency with its wildland firefighting needs and mitigation efforts. That year, a special legislative session was called to assist the state and DFFM after the destructive 180,757-acre Telegraph Fire. In total, HB 2001 provides $100 million to DFFM, of which $36 million was budgeted for post-fire flooding mitigation efforts.
For more information, contact Tiffany Davila at 602-540-1036 or by email at [email protected]