Flagstaff, Arizona’s wakeup call came in the summer of 2010. Its leaders and citizens haven’t taken public safety or clean drinking water for granted ever since.
That was the year when June’s Schultz wildfire raced across 15,000 acres northeast of Flagstaff on the eastern slopes of the San Francisco Peaks. Remarkably, the fire stayed entirely within the Coconino National Forest boundaries and burned no homes.
Then came northern Arizona’s monsoon season, and a seemingly endless series of floods carried torrents of water out of the burned area and into Flagstaff subdivisions, taking the life of a 12-year-old girl and damaging hundreds of homes.