This year, the Telegraph and Mescal Fires impacted hundreds of lives and charred over 250,000 acres of land in central Arizona. On October 29 and 30, the public is invited to hear from their natural resource managers and community leaders about the expected short and long-term impacts of the fire on the landscape and watershed. This event will be offered in-person and virtually over Zoom. Please note: In-person attendance is limited to 30 people. The Cobre Valley Watershed Partnership is hosting this meeting in collaboration with Bullion Plaza Cultural Center & Museum, US Forest Service, University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center, and Cooperative Extension.
October 29,1:00pm – 5:00pm and October 30, 9:00am – 1:00pm
Bullion Plaza Cultural Center & Museum – 150 N Plaza Circle, Miami, AZ 85539
Driven by persistent drought and exacerbated by extreme temperatures, the Telegraph and Mescal fires burned acres in Pinal and Gila Counties and San Carlos Apache Reservation, damaging dozens of structures and causing evacuations of multiple communities. Following containment, our record monsoon season triggered floods and debris flows that threatened property and lives.
Despite these hardships, natural disasters have a way of binding communities together, creating opportunities for collaboration toward recovery and resilience. Bringing together private, nonprofit, academic, local, state, and federal partners, members of the public are invited to learn about the status of local land and water resources and share their priorities for recovery and preparation for future hazards. Attendees will engage with the experts about fire ecology and find out what funding and restoration opportunities are available. Speakers and audience members will be prompted to respond to questions about what changes may be necessary to maximize restoration and planning. In the long-term, fire-friendly mindsets may be necessary to improve environmental outcomes and help realign ecological patterns and processes.
Wildfire is a natural part of the landscape and plays an important role in ecosystem functions. However, wildfires in Arizona are becoming more severe and frequent due to human and climate causes. Although the fires and flooding of 2021 were extreme examples, they may represent the new normal. Long-term drought and extreme heat underscore the importance for expanded collaboration and preparedness for future events. It will take public support to guide watershed recovery and resiliency building. The Cobre Valley Watershed Partnership aims to help motivate new projects, support ongoing projects, increase communication among stakeholders, and assist in securing funding.
Call for Lightning Talks
On October 30, "After the Fire" participants will have the opportunity to present 5-minute "Lightning Talks." We invite you to give an example of how you or your organization is working to recover or build resilience after the Telegraph and Mescal Fires. These efforts may be related to restoration, funding, collaboration, conservation, long-term planning, and more. One size does not fit all!
Safety Precautions: Our limited in-person audience will be required to wear masks and socially distance while indoors. Masks will be available and provided as needed. Based on the current health conditions and aligned with CDC guidance as well as our commitment to deliver in-person learning at the University of Arizona, we will require face masks be worn in all indoor spaces where it is not possible to adequately and continuously maintain social distance.