Properties impacted by flooding downstream of the Schultz Fire burn area, may see the benefits from state financial assistance. Governor Jan Brewer today announced plans to allocate $305,000 to Coconino County to aid in its recovery from flood damage caused by the Schultz Fire of June 2010, as well as to mitigate future flood damage to the community.
“Coconino County is facing a dire situation as a result of last June’s wildfire,” said Governor Brewer. “The condition of the land impacted by the fire has made the area extremely susceptible to severe flood damage. These funds are going to be imperative in protecting the residents of this community during future monsoon seasons.”
The funding will pay for concrete barriers and sand bags to prevent land erosion and property damage during rainstorms. Additionally, the funding will provide labor resources to aid residents of the at-risk area in preparing for future flooding, and will help the county conduct a PR campaign to alert residents to the danger and pro-active steps they can take to minimize their risk.
For 10 consecutive days last June, the Schultz Fire ravaged U.S. Forest Land, burning 15,000 acres and scorching nearly everything in its path. The loss of vegetation left the area vulnerable to erosion and flooding, as was seen in July and August when flash flooding destroyed homes, damaged public infrastructure and even took the life of a young resident. In response the county was forced to make expenditures that exceeded the amount set aside in its emergency reserve fund.
With monsoon season approaching in the upcoming summer months, the risk is high of more flood damage in the region devastated by the Schultz Fire.
“The devastation from a wildfire lasts long after the fire is out,” said State Forester Scott Hunt. “Flooding is the next disaster. Restorative and mitigation efforts taken now will reduce the risk of major flooding and greatly benefit residents living below the Schultz Fire burn area.”
“Since Day One, the Governor has provided much-needed assistance to Coconino County and our residents during the Schultz Fire and subsequent flooding,” said Mandy Metzger, Chairwoman of the Coconino County Board of Supervisors. “The Governor was immediately on the ground during the Schultz Fire and understands the devastation the fire and flooding have caused in our communities.”
Governor Brewer recognizes that proactive emergency measures need to be taken in order to alleviate this foreseeable damage. As a result, this funding will provide Coconino County with resources and materials that will help protect those residents most at risk for flooding in the coming months.
“As we move into the summer monsoon season, Coconino County and our residents would like to thank the Governor for her attention and continuous assistance in the Schultz Flood area,” said Liz Archuleta, Coconino County Supervisor District 2. “This vital funding will help the county and our residents prepare for any ongoing flooding that may occur this summer.”
While certain damages and losses have occurred that cannot be undone or regained, it is important that the areas of Coconino County affected by last June’s fire have the financial means to protect themselves from future devastation.
Funding for this project was derived from the Governor’s State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) Discretionary monies allocated from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.