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The Bighorn Fire burning along the Catalina Mountains near Golder Ranch and Oracle Roads in 2020.

The Biden administration will send $197 million from the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law to help communities prepare for wildfires this summer, the first round of a new $1 billion Community Wildfire Defense Grant program authorized under the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. Read more»

More than 45,000 acres in the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area in Arizona are managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The Biden administration’s 10-year plan to conserve 30% of U.S. land by 2030 does not say whether such existing conservation areas would count toward its goal.

In an effort to fund locally led landscape-scale conservation and restoration projects, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced grant funding opportunities available through the 2023 America the Beautiful Challenge. Read more»

The Bighorn Fire in June, 2020, visible from townhouses near Ventana Canyon as the fire burns downslope.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will spend nearly $500 million on projects to reduce wildfire risk in 11 areas in Western states, including Arizona, with funding coming from the budget, climate and taxes law that passed last year. Read more»

A mural is displayed along the side of U.S. 191 in Chinle, Arizona, where the health center has four traditional healers on staff to provide services.

President Biden is poised to designate Avi Kwa Ame, a sacred site for Native American tribes in southern Nevada, as a national monument, and announced economic, climate and land management actions the administration is taking to foster a strong relationship with Indian Country.  Read more»

Burning Juniper & Pinyon trees in the Bert Fire in 2016.

The Biden administration will announce Tuesday it is using $3 billion from last year’s infrastructure law to revamp the federal approach to wildfire management, introducing a 10-year plan to deal with the large swaths of the West scientists consider most at risk of destructive blazes. Read more»

Firefighters from Wyoming and private crews work to build containment lines last week while battling the Cronan Fire, one of three fires comprising the River Complex in northern California,

Fighting wildfires did not get any easier this month, but it did get a little more profitable for thousands firefighters employed by the federal government as the departments of Agriculture and Interior bumped the minimum wage for federal firefighters up to $15 an hour. Read more»

In this screenshot, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (center) and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (right) discuss forest management as it relates to wildfires which have in recent years blackened huge swaths of the Golden State.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the federal government needs to do a better job of forest management after viewing damage from the million-acre August Complex fire - a rare admission in an era where climate change receives the brunt of the blame for the spate of wildfires. Read more»

The Bighorn Fire in 2020 was visible from townhouses near Ventana Canyon as the fire burned downslope.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told reporters that federal fire officials had warned to prepare for an extremely active fire year with several types of drought converging in the West this year, and "wildland fires now extend throughout the entire year, burning hotter and growing more catastrophic in drier conditions due to climate change." Read more»

The Wallow Fire burned a half-million acres in 2011.

Arizona is expected to have a normal wildfire season this summer after several years in which the state saw relatively little fire activity, state and federal officials said. A normal wildfire season for Arizona still means thousands of fires across the state — an average of 2,846 per year. Read more»

A firefighter conducts a prescribed burn at the Big Windy Complex fire near Galice, Oregon, in this file photo from August 2013.

Federal officials said Tuesday they will be “ready when fire strikes,” but raised concerns over funding for the upcoming wildfire season and the growing threat of catastrophic wildfires in the drought-stricken West. Read more»

A sow and one of her piglets. Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus can infect any age pig, but has only proven fatal to piglets, who have a mortality rate of at least 50 percent once infected.

A swine virus that has already caused a nationwide hog shortage has turned up in Arizona, where one farm official worries it could have “catastrophic effects on the pork buying and producing industry.” The virus is harmless to humans, but the mortality rate for infected piglets has been at least 50 percent. Read more»

After lunch and musical entertainment at the 'Kids’ State Dinner,' Phoenix’s Alexandra Nickle and the other 53 winners of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge toured the White House’s kitchen garden.

Phoenix fifth-grader Alexandra Nickle wants to be a “graphic artist and dog shelter owner” when she grows up, but it was her cooking creativity that landed her in the White House on Tuesday. The "Kids’ State Dinner" included remarks from Haile Thomas, a Tucson seventh-grader who was last year’s Arizona entrant in the healthy cooking challenge. Read more»

Milk prices could double if Congress does not pass the new farm bill by January 1. Read more»

A tractor is used to work a field on a farm near Chandler.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Tuesday it could appoint “socially disadvantaged” farmers in six state counties where the elected county committees may be lacking in representation by women and minorities. Read more»

Fox News Channel is often described as a cable news station. On occasion, the words “conservative” or “biased” are attached to that description. But few dispute the journalistic orientation of the overall enterprise. This is a mistake. Read more» 4