Fire Season 2019

Jake Bacon/Arizona Daily Sun via AP

Helicopter flights over Flagstaff are common, particularly with the local hospital being northern Arizona's only top-tier trauma center, but the cargo of some of the helicopters buzzing over Flagstaff these days consists of logs, not people.

Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management

Arizona avoided a potentially calamitous fire season in 2018 after a record-setting dry winter and spring. State fire officials say proactive prevention measures reduced wildfire impacts. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Ecological Restoration Institute

Winter is an especially critical time in northern Arizona for preemptive forest thinning, seasonal hiring and other preparations for fire season. But much of this work has been delayed as the federal government shutdown enters its fifth week. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius spoke with Paul Summerfelt, Flagstaff’s fire management officer, about what the shutdown could mean for forest health and public safety as the year’s driest months approach.


Forest thinning with helicopters will begin this week near Flagstaff as part the Watershed Protection Project. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports, it’s designed to lessen wildfire and flooding danger that could threaten the city’s main water sources.