Senators: Federal funding authorized for Arizona wildfire recovery

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has agreed to provide $12.8 million in emergency funding to help parts of Arizona recover from three major wildfires in recent years, two members of the state’s congressional delegation announced.

Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly said March 1 the money comes from funding authorized by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law to protect communities, support recovery efforts, and reduce hazardous fuels on federal, state and tribal lands.

The Museum Fire burned over 3 square miles (7.9 square kilometers) in the San Francisco Peaks outside Flagstaff in 2019. The Bush Fire burned more than 302 square miles (782.9 square kilometers) in the Saguaro Lake area east of Mesa in 2020. The Telegraph Fire burned over 282 square miles (731.5 square kilometers) near Superior and Miami in 2021.

In an October letter requesting the funding, Sinema and Kelly said this past summer’s monsoon caused flooding from the Museum Fire’s burn scar, endangering lives, property and Flagstaff’s watershed.

"We’re glad the administration agreed to our request and released federal disaster funding, providing much-needed relief for Arizona communities still experiencing the impacts of wildfires," said Sinema.

A view of the Telegraph Fire in Globe

A view of the Telegraph Fire in Globe taken on June 13. (Credit: Margaret Hughes)

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