State legislature to host special session to address wildfires
Up to $100 million could be approved to help combat, prevent the fires
TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Arizona lawmakers will convene for a special session Tuesday, June 15, to address the wildfires burning across the state.
Gov. Doug Ducey said the state will “invest $100 million to combat and prevent wildfires, equip firefighters and communities with the resources they need, and prepare for after-effects such as flooding and mudslides.”
A vote on the proposal is expected to come later in the week.
“This wildfire season has already been devastating, and we still have a long, hot summer ahead of us,” Ducey said in a news release. “While Arizona has strong wildfire suppression and prevention efforts in place, we need to do more.
“Our brave firefighters must have all the necessary tools, resources and support to fight the blazes and stay safe. We need to protect our communities from floods and other disasters that could result from these wildfires. Hard-hit communities and nonprofits offering support need financial assistance to weather the devastation of this wildfire season and protect families in need. We can get this done — and we can do it in an urgent, bipartisan manner. Thank you to Legislative leadership for coming together to develop an investment package that will help so many Arizonans.”
The investment is expected to go to the following:
- $24.6 million for a partnership between the Department of Forest and Fire Management and the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry to reduce wildfire risk to Arizona communities by conducting hazardous vegetation removal
- $75 million for fire suppression efforts, recovery efforts including post-fire floods, economic assistance for those displaced, and assistance to landowners for emergency repairs to infrastructure damaged by wildfires.
Earlier this month, Ducey issued two Declarations of Emergency in response to the Telegraph and Mescal Fires, making up to $400,000 in funding available.
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