Governor Doug Ducey issued two Declarations of Emergency in response to the Telegraph and Mescal Fires in Pinal and Gila Counties on June 9, making available up to $400,000 for response efforts.
The State of Emergency followed the Governor’s June 6 request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for a Fire Management Assistance Grant. FEMA quickly approved the request the same day and will provide significant federal assistance for the local and state costs.
“Firefighters and safety officials have been working around the clock to protect Arizonans, and we need to make sure they have the support they need to successfully fight the wildfires in Pinal and Gila Counties,” Governor Ducey said. “I issued Declarations of Emergency so those responders will have the necessary resources to protect people, pets and property — and we will continue to work closely with local officials to ensure the needs of those communities are met. Arizonans must take the threat of wildfires seriously and follow all safety precautions during these dry months, including following evacuation orders. I’m grateful to everyone working to protect Arizonans this wildfire season.”
On June 10, the Governor took an aerial tour of the Telegraph and Mescal Fires, received a briefing from fire officials and visited the Red Cross emergency shelter set up at High Desert Middle School in Globe. He was joined by Speaker Rusty Bowers, whose property was burned by the Telegraph Fire; Representative David Cook and Senator T.J. Shope, who represent central and eastern Pinal County and southern Gila County; Arizona’s Adjutant General and Director of the Arizona National Guard Major General Kerry Muehlenbeck; San Carlos Apache Tribe Chairman Terry Rambler; local leaders; and safety and fire officials.
During his press conference, Governor Ducey announced he will be holding an upcoming special session of the Arizona Legislature to ensure Arizona has the resources needed to combat this season’s wildfires and address potentially deadly aftereffects like flooding.
The Telegraph Fire as of Monday morning had burned 91,227 acres of federal, state and private land, triggering the deployment of an Interagency Type 1 Incident Management Team. The fire started on Friday, June 4 and has caused multiple evacuations and road closures.
The Mescal Fire as of Monday morning had burned 72,250 acres in Gila County. The Interagency Type 2 Incident Management Team turned the Mescal Fire over to Incident Commander Irwin Goseyen.