Greater Prescott Area Wildfire Protection and Restoration

Confronting the Wildfire Crisis

The Wildfire Crisis Strategy is a 10-year effort focused on protecting communities, critical infrastructure, and forest resources from uncharacteristic wildfires.

Strategy Website

Color coded map showing degree of vulnerability to wildfires for different areas

About the Landscape

STATE

Arizona

SIZE

401,000 acres

TRIBAL CONNECTION

Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe, Yavapai-Apache Nation, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Hopi Tribe, Hualapai Tribe, Tonto-Apache Tribe

PARTNERS

Bureau of Land Management, AZ Division of Forestry & Fire Management, Prescott Area Wildland Urban Interface Commission, Yavapai County Emergency Management, Yavapai County Public Works, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, Local Fire Departments, above listed Tribes, National Forest Foundation, Arizona Game & Fish, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Natural Resource Conservation District, Arizona Public Service, Salt River Project

EXPECTED FUNDING FY22-FY24

$28.7 million

Landscape Highlights

The objectives of this project are to reduce community wildland fire risks while restoring and increasing ecosystem resiliency. Implementation efforts will focus on the top priority firesheds identified in the National Forest Scenario Investment Planning Platform, building upon historic fuels treatments and capitalizing on cross-boundary opportunities to collaborate with public, Tribal, and private-area partners. Focusing on priority firesheds that have been identified by fire scientists as the best places to treat the fewest acres while affecting the largest reductions in community risks from wildfires, this a strategic and proactive investment of public funds and a new approach. The forest will utilize a full complement of restoration tools, including but not limited to prescribed fire, mastication, timber thinning and harvest, road improvement, and fuel breaks.

The project will enhance public and firefighter safety by creating defensible space within, adjacent to, and leading up to communities, Tribal lands, and youth camps. Firefighters will be able to more effectively manage the spread of unplanned ignitions, providing increased operating margins and time for the public to evacuate. The planned treatments will simultaneously restore and add resiliency to these fire dependent ecosystems.

The project also reduces the wildfire threat to popular recreation areas and trail systems crossing jurisdictional boundaries. These areas attract more than 750,000 visitors per year and account for roughly 40 percent of the nightly hotel stays in the Greater Prescott area. There will be a direct economic benefit to local businesses in the hospitality, fuel services, shipping, and heavy equipment maintenance sectors..

Mechanisms for Execution

The project will use in-house Forest Service personnel; existing and new local, statewide, regional, and national agreements (funded and nonfunded); existing and new contracts; as well as partnership and cooperator capacity to contract and implement roads, fuels, and vegetation treatments.

Expected Outcomes

The project will improve overall ecosystem health and watershed function while reducing the wildfire hazard to communities/areas, including but not limited to Prescott, Prescott Valley, Dewey, Humboldt, Mayer, Cottonwood, Crown King, Walker, Groom Creek, Ponderosa Park, Highland Pines, and Jerome. This project will meet the strategic treatment objective of restoring fire-adapted ecosystems to 40 percent of the landscape to reduce 80 percent of the exposure from wildfire. The project capitalizes on existing and new agreements with partners and local area church/youth camps allowing for cross-boundary collaboration and implementation (prescribed fire and mechanical treatments). The project includes cross-boundary ecosystems and watersheds, shared with Tribal nations, local/State/Federal jurisdictions, and private entities. Aligned with the Regional Strategic Plan, the focus is on large-scale ecosystem management that is accomplished through shared stewardship.