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Governor Ducey announces legislative special session in response to wildfires

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Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 3:38 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Governor Doug Ducey today announced an upcoming special session of the Arizona Legislature to ensure our state has the resources needed to combat this season’s wildfires and address potentially deadly after-effects like flooding.

Governor Ducey will be working with legislative leadership, local communities, and state fire professionals on specifics with a goal of convening next week. 

“We will spare no expense when it comes to protecting Arizona communities from wildfires,” the Governor said. “It’s absolutely imperative that we go into this fight prepared. We will continue to put all our efforts towards these fires so we can contain them and prevent any more hurt, loss and suffering in our communities.”

The Governor announced the special session during a press conference at High Desert Middle School in Globe, where he, lawmakers, and fire fighting officials provided the latest information about the Telegraph and Mescal Fires in Pinal and Gila Counties.

”The men and women fighting these fires are doing an amazing job but we have a lot more to do, and our response won’t end when the fires are put out,” the Governor added. “When this year’s monsoon rains come, these burned areas are prone to floods, landslides, and mudslides. We will work with our partners in cities, towns, and counties to ensure resources are available to prevent that destruction.”

The special session will allow the Governor and the Legislature to secure funding and support needed to keep Arizonans, their property and their pets safe. The resources will help contain current wildfires, wildfires that will potentially arise during the dry summer months, and possible flooding and other natural disasters that may result from this emergency.

The press conference followed the Governor’s aerial tour of the Telegraph Fire, a briefing from fire officials, and a visit to the Red Cross emergency shelter set up at the middle school for those who have been evacuated (including pets).

The Governor was joined by Speaker Rusty Bowers, whose property burned down due to the Telegraph Fire; Representative David Cook and Senator T.J. Shope, who represent central and eastern Pinal County and southern Gila County; Arizona’s Adjutant General and Director of the Arizona National Guard Major General Kerry Muehlenbeck; San Carlos Apache Tribe Chairman Terry Rambler; local leaders; and safety and fire officials.

The Telegraph Fire has burned more than 85,300 acres and the Mescal Fire has burned more than 70,000 acres.

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