Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema was in Flagstaff Friday to receive a briefing from forest service and fire officials, and to tour fire damaged areas of the Tunnel Fire. She listened to ideas from officials about how to improve ways to fight wildfires, increase public communication and prevention and to increase efforts for residences to clean up around their homes. The senator told KAFF News she is fully supportive of wildfire crews working year around, instead of seasonal. She said, “during the time of fire season, you’re going to fight fires and then start working on mitigation, but in the offseason that’s when you do the important work of hardening the forest and working on forest health.” She adds, “that’s when you do your controlled burns, that’s when you do the thinning and really preparing for a fire season that you are dictating, not one that’s dictating you.” Sinema also said more time and effort needs to be put on educating the public on how the forest needs to be treated and respected when visitors go to camp and recreate. She also liked the idea of setting up a permit structure for camping. The Senator spent over an hour learning about the Tunnel Fire before she left to tour the Crooks Fire near Prescott.
Dave had a chance to talk to Senator Kyrsten Sinema about the Tunnel Fire and wildfires in general in this exclusive interview. To listen, click here: