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Reducing Our Risk
Organization: The Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project
Each spring residents of Flagstaff, Arizona watch with fingers crossed as the forest dries out, hoping to escape another devastating wildfire season. The monsoons once signaling reprieve, have become a source of overwhelming fear and anxiety. Lessons learned from the unprecedented and repeated flooding following 2010’s Schultz Fire awoke a new awareness of the extraordinary impacts that can occur long after a wildfire’s last smoke is extinguished. The Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project (FWPP) highlights a new urgency to protect our community from not only the threat of wildfire, but from potentially more devastating post-fire flood events.
Funded through a municipal bond approved by 74% of voters, FWPP is a partnership between the City of Flagstaff, State of Arizona and Coconino National forest working to reduce the risk of severe wildfire and subsequent flooding in two watersheds critical to Flagstaff. There is no question these areas will burn with high intensity under current conditions. FWPP will implement forest management activities placing the forest on a restoration trajectory through forest thinning and application of prescribed fire.