Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law led by Sinema and shaped by Kelly provides more than $10 million to strengthen wildfire prevention, mitigation, and relief efforts across Arizona in 2022 alone
Historic investment covers removal of hazardous buffelgrass in Saguaro National Park
WASHINGTON – Arizona Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly announced an additional $10 million from the U.S. Department of the Interior will be invested in Arizona wildfire resilience this year from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law led by Sinema and shaped by Kelly.
As Arizona faces the worst drought the Southwest has seen in 1,200 years, the bipartisan infrastructure law funds will strengthen wildfire prevention, mitigation, and relief efforts across the state. The added $10 million allocated to Arizona includes funding for buffelgrass fuels reduction in Saguaro National Park, which will safeguard native vegetation, boost park resources, and protect neighboring infrastructure and landscapes from increased fires. Buffelgrass is a non-native plant species that increases wildfire risk which damages or kills Arizona’s iconic saguaro cacti.
“Fire season has become a year-round challenge in Arizona – and Arizonans know all too well how increasing wildfires threaten the health and safety of our communities. After seeing the damage from the Tunnel Fire in Flagstaff firsthand, I’m incredibly proud to announce that we secured this $10 million investment boosting wildfire resilience across our state. Arizonans will soon feel much-needed relief from the emotional and physical burden of the constant threat of wildfires,” said Sinema, co-author and lead negotiator of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law.
“Wildfires in Arizona have had devastating effects on communities and small businesses across our state. This funding we secured through our work on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will better protect communities in our state from damaging wildfires,” said Kelly.
Sinema led bipartisan Senate negotiations with Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio that included Senator Kelly and senators from both parties.
Kelly and Sinema’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law provides $3 billion to implement a 10-year plan to fight wildfires in Arizona and across the country, $61 million of which will be invested directly in Arizona for the implementation of the Four Forests Restoration Initiative (4FRI) as well as in four critical recovery and mitigation projects: the Museum Fire Sediment Reduction Project, the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project, the Coconino National Forest Cragin Watershed Protection Project, and the Tonto National Forest Cooperative Forest Restoration Project.
The bipartisan infrastructure law was supported by groups including The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, The National Association of Manufacturers, The AFL-CIO, The National Retail Federation, The Bipartisan Policy Center, North America’s Building Trades Unions, the Outdoor Industry Association, The American Hotel and Lodging Association, The National Education Association, as well as hundreds of mayors across all 50 states.