arizona wildfires

U.S. Forest Service, Coconino National Forest

More than five and a half million acres have burned in the U.S. this year. Wildfires have grown larger and more intense over the last few decades, in part because of the warmer temperatures brought on by global climate change. Residents in forest cities like Flagstaff increasingly have to prepare for evacuations, smoky days, and post-fire floods. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, all that takes a toll on mental health.


Coconino National Forest

Heavy rain this weekend led to flash flood warnings across much of Northern Arizona, especially in areas with recent wildfire scars. The close links between fire and flood concern water managers in the Phoenix Valley, who rely on the Salt and Verde watersheds for drinking water supplies. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with Salt River Project spokesperson Elvy Barton about why the utility is getting involved in forest restoration.


Melissa Sevigny

Streets in east Flagstaff filled with mud and debris this week as flash floods poured down from the Museum Fire scar. The two-year-old burn scar is a study site for scientists at Northern Arizona University, who want to know how forests will recover from wildfires in a warmer, drier climate. Just before the flooding, KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny took a tour of the spot to learn about the experiment.


Rafael Fire Information Facebook page

The recent Rafael Fire in Sycamore Canyon destroyed two historic cabins and damaged several other cultural heritage sites. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.


Coconino National Forest

Dozens of wildfires were burning in hot, dry conditions across the U.S. West, including a blaze touched off by lightning that was moving toward northern Arizona’s largest city.

The mountainous city of Flagstaff was shrouded in smoke Monday, and ash was falling from the sky. The national forest surrounding it announced a full closure set to begin later this week — the first time that has happened since 2006.

Arizona Humane Society

The towns of Pine and Strawberry remain under evacuation orders as the Backbone Fire grows past thirty two thousand acres, with no containment yet. Emergency shelters have been set up in Payson for people, and for their pets and livestock. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with Bretta Nelson of the Arizona Humane Society who is on the ground in Payson with an emergency response team.


Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management

Smoke will be visible for days or possibly weeks in south-central Arizona where crews continue to strengthen the perimeter around a wildfire.

Nearly 1,000 firefighters focused Sunday on monitoring and mopping up the fire lines around the blaze south of Superior.

Fire officials say the Telegraph Fire, which has burned nearly 138 square miles (357 square kilometers), is 76% contained.