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Senator Griffin to participate in legislative hearing on state forest fires

Senator Gail Griffin and Representative Brenda Barton will lead a hearing next month to take a close look at forest fires in rural Arizona. The goal of the hearing is to hear from citizens in the affected areas about the impact these fires cause in their communities.

“Fires will always be a part of life in Arizona. We need to find better ways to both prevent and suppress wildfires,” urged a spokesperson for the Arizona Department of Forestry. Speakers, including those from the State Forestry and State Land Departments and others, intend to address topics such as law enforcement and security issues, fire aftermath problems and potential ways to improve rural firefighting.

"Local fire departments and knowledgeable firefighters are vital in preventing and fighting fires," said Senator Griffin. "It's very important that the federal and state fire crews acknowledge the importance of the local fire departments when fighting forest fires. Real coordination amongst all the entities, especially with local input, will be the key to success in the future.”

The hearing is scheduled for August 5 at the Graham Country Board of Supervisors building in Safford. Both Arizona Senate and House of Representative members will be participating in the hearing.


Date: Saturday, August 5, 2017

Time: 10:00 A.M.

Place: Graham County Board of Supervisors

General Services Building

921 Thatcher Boulevard

Safford, AZ 85546


1. Introductions - Senator Gail Griffin and Representative Brenda Barton

2. Presentations and Testimony

  • Overview of Forest Fires in Graham and Cochise Counties - Jeff Whitney, State Forester

  • State Land Impacts - State Land Department

  • Law Enforcement and Security Issues - P.J. Allred, Graham County Sheriff

  • Local Citizen Testimony

  • Jay Whetten

  • Tammy and Steve Smith

  • Larry Moore

  • Larry Humphrey

  • Other citizens

3. Fire Aftermath Issues

  • Jim Palmer, Graham County Supervisor

  • Irrigation and Flood Districts

4. Fighting Fires in the Future

  • Improving Local Coordination and Input

  • Better Suppression Techniques for Fires During Hot and Dry Months

5. Adjournment


Senator Gail Griffin Representative Brenda Barton

Senator Sylvia Allen Representative Becky Nutt

Senator Judy Burges Representative Drew John

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