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Governor Ducey Issues State of Emergency Declaration for Navajo County

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Photo Courtesy: Harold DeClay, WMAT Tribal Member

PHOENIX – Governor Doug Ducey today issued a State of Emergency declaration for Navajo County, where local, state and federal fire professionals continue to fight the Cedar Fire. The declaration will release state dollars to assist with local response and recovery efforts and ensure appropriate state agencies are at the ready should they be called upon.

The Cedar Fire is burning 10 miles south of Pinetop-Lakeside and Show Low, and is currently 20 percent contained. The community of Forestdale has evacuated. Show Low, Pinetop-Lakeside, McNary, Hon-dah and Cedar Creek are under pre-evacuation notice. Governor Ducey surveyed the fire Friday and met with fire professionals on site for a briefing.

“On Friday, I traveled to Show Low to receive an official briefing on the Cedar Fire and survey ongoing containment efforts. I had the opportunity to meet with many of our brave and dedicated firefighters on the front lines, and I reiterated to local and tribal leaders the state’s commitment to providing any and all assistance needed to battle this fire and protect people and property,” said Governor Ducey. “In light of the size and scope of the fire, coupled with additional risks posed by dry weather conditions, I have declared a State of Emergency to direct additional state resources and assets to support local response and recovery efforts. Ensuring the safety of these communities – and all of the women and men working around the clock to fight this fire – remains our top priority. Arizona will bring to bear any and all support necessary to make that happen. We will continue to remain in close communication with local officials, and I encourage all area residents to follow the directives of the fire professionals providing updates on the location and status of the fire.”

“As bad as this situation is, the help and support we have received, especially from the Governor’s Office, is encouraging,” Navajo County Chairman of the Board Jason Whiting said. “Governor Ducey’s declaration provides backing for the county to keep providing necessary services for our communities and better prepare for any eventuality.”

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Photo Courtesy: Harold DeClay, WMAT Tribal Member

“We have been doing all we can to keep the residents inside the affected areas calm and safe during this crisis,” said Navajo County Sheriff KC Clark. “We understand the concerns from our community members, but we ask that people remain calm and prepared as this situation plays out. Rest assured, we are doing all we can to keep you protected, and with the support from the Governor’s Office, we are confident moving forward.”

Governor Ducey is authorized under A.R.S. § 26-303(D) to declare a state of emergency, which can be used to reimburse eligible emergency response and recovery costs. The declaration directs the following actions:

a. Declare that a State of Emergency exists in Navajo County due to the Cedar Fire, effective June 15, 2016 and continuing; and

b. Direct that the sum of $200,000 from the general fund be made available to the Director of the Arizona Division of Emergency Management to be expended in accordance with A.R.S. § 35-192, A.A.C. R8-2-301 to 321, and Executive Order 79-4; and

c. Direct that the State of Arizona Emergency Response and Recovery Plan be used to direct and control state and other assets and authorize the Director of the Arizona Division of Emergency Management to coordinate state assets; and

d. Authorize the Adjutant General to mobilize and call to activate all or such part of the Arizona National Guard as is determined necessary to assist in the protection of life and property throughout the State.

View the governor’s declaration here.

Navajo County has established a call center to field questions from the public. The public can call the Northeastern Arizona Public Information System at 928-333-3412 for evacuation and shelter information.

Navajo County residents are encouraged to sign up with the emergency notification system at https://member.everbridge.net/index/453003085612436#/login to receive alerts from the county.

Visit the Arizona Emergency Information Network at www.AzEIN.gov for official emergency updates, preparedness and hazard information, and multimedia resources.

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