Texas

Governor observes Arizona fire and calls for a special session

Phoenix – Arizona Governor Doug Ducey convened a special session of the Legislature on Thursday to raise funds for two large wildfires in south-central Arizona.

The Republican governor wants the legislature to approve additional funding to secure the resources needed by firefighters throughout the drought-ravaged state and address the problems posed when fires come out. is.

“It’s clear that there’s more to do now, and when these fires go out, the response won’t end,” Ducey said. “When it rains this year’s monsoon, these burnt areas are vulnerable to landslides, landslides and floods, pose another threat to the community.”

Arizona isn’t the only report of a major wildfire this year, as much of the southwestern United States is deeply involved in prolonged droughts. So far this year, the National Inter-Ministry Fire Center reported 23 major fires in the wilderness of about 400 square miles (1,036 square kilometers) in nine states. New major fires were reported on Wednesday in California, Colorado, Michigan, and Utah.

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The largest fires currently burning are Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada, which have been hit hard by the drought.

Approximately 1,600 firefighters are fighting two large Arizona fires earlier this month that burned at least 245 square miles (636 square kilometers) of grass, chaparral, and pine forests on rugged terrain. The fire is burning west of Superior, Grove, Miami, and other mining towns about 75 miles (120 km) southeast of Phoenix.

A special session will be held next week. The governor did not announce the amount he requested, other than saying it would be in the millions of dollars.

Deucey travels with Speaker of the House Russell Bowers and another member to an area where aircraft-backed crew members are working to prevent fires from Globe and several other communities in Gila and Pinal counties. After that, I announced it when I visited South Central Arizona.

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Bowers lost his longtime family hideout in the flames of Monday. It was one of five structures destroyed by one of the burning fires near Globe and Miami. He lives in Mesa, but when his grandmother met her grandfather, he said she was a milkmaid in Globe and his family was deeply rooted in the community.

“The governor mentioned our loss, but my wife and I are helping you when you see friends and people trying to help us. This is here and beyond the hills. It’s a Globe Miami character in, and we’re grateful, “Bauers said at a press conference at noon. “We are grateful to our good neighbors.”

Bowers spoke with the governor on Monday, stating that the state’s wildfire funds had been exhausted and worried about floods and landslides, proposing a special session.

“If what happened in the mountains gets the heavy monsoon we need, it will be a bad, bad summer,” Bowers said Thursday. “So we are here to help. We make sure the resources are (there are), work with emergency managers to prepare, station, pre-place, and We want to make it really useful for the upcoming flood season. “

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Ducey took an aerial tour of the two fires aboard the Arizona National Guard’s Blackhawk helicopter, was briefed by fire authorities, and visited the Red Cross shelter for evacuees before holding a press conference.

It is doubtful whether Ducey actually needs to call a special session. Parliament continues as the legislature seeks to get enough votes for lawmakers to pass the $ 12.8 billion budget and cuts taxes significantly when Republican legislative leaders negotiate with Ducey. I will. At least two Republicans and all Democrats opposed tax cuts, and there was no budget movement for weeks.

Ducey said the special session would help focus parliamentarians on a single subject with bipartisan support, despite budget stalemate.

The Legislature is facing a June 30 deadline to pass the budget for fiscal year 2022, which begins on July 1.

The Governor’s January budget plan states that the state has consistently exceeded the $ 4 million annual budget for the state’s fire extinguishing fund over the past few years and will increase its annual budget by $ 2.4 million in the next budget year. He said he was aiming. The proposal said that in the last five budget years, firefighting costs exceeded $ 39 million, but the budget was only about $ 20 million.

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The governor also aims to increase the amount of cash put into the emergency fund he manages and often uses it to make up for the difference in actual firefighting costs.

Firefighting activities may be funded by state or federal funds, depending on where in the state the fire burns.

Ducey announced on Wednesday an urgent declaration of two current wildfires. The declaration makes up to $ 400,000 available for response efforts.

As of Thursday, the crew increased the containment of what was called a telegraph fire burning near Superior and Miami to 40% of its surroundings. As of Thursday morning, the containment of the so-called Mezcal fire southeast of Grove was 36%.

Mezcal’s fire has entered the mop-up stage. However, residents should not be satisfied as embers can blow the containment line and cause spot fires, said David Shell, a spokesman for the fire management team. If that happened, he said, “We will race again.”

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Contributed by Associated Press writer Paul Davenport.

Copyright 2021 Associated Press. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

Governor observes Arizona fire and calls for a special session

Source link Governor observes Arizona fire and calls for a special session

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