Coconino County Supervisors Survey $60 Million of Post-Wildfire Flood Mitigation Progress in Pipeline Fire Flood Area



Flagstaff, AZ – The Coconino County Board of Supervisors recently toured the Pipeline Fire Flood Area to observe the progress of post-wildfire flood mitigation in the eight fire-impacted watersheds. In the fifteen months since the receipt of federal funding, the Coconino County Flood Control District (District) has implemented over $60 million worth of mitigation, including over 240 acres of watershed restoration, over 250 erosion control structures, and nearly 5 miles of storm drain pipe and concrete channels.

“It’s monumental,” said District 4 Supervisor and Chair of the Board Judy Begay. “When I see the pace and scale of what has been accomplished to improve conditions for our people, I feel very proud of this team.”

Since March 2024, construction efforts have been focused in the Copeland Flood Corridor, where the District and its partners have engineered a flood mitigation system that consists of 52 acres of restored alluvial fan and roughly 9,000 feet of storm drain pipe with a capacity to convey over 2,000 cubic-feet-per second of floodwater—a volume greater than three times the average flow of the Verde River. This system alone accounts for about $12 million of the investment into the area and is on track to be substantially completed by early July—a construction timeline that Flood Control District Administrator and Deputy County Manager Lucinda Andreani described as “lightning-speed.”

“We’re very fortunate to have reassembled the team of engineers and contractors that led the mitigation effort following the 2010 Schultz Fire,” Andreani said. “Nobody knows this landscape, nobody knows this work like our partners at Tiffany Construction, Natural Channel Design Engineering, and Civiltec Engineering. We would not be where we are today without their expertise and tireless efforts.”

When complete, the flood mitigation system in the Copeland Flood Corridor will represent the seventh completed flood mitigation system that the District has delivered to the Pipeline Fire Flood Area. With a total of nine watersheds impacted by the Pipeline Fire, that leaves only two flood corridors—Peaceful Way and Government Tank—still in need of complete flood mitigation systems. The District will fund mitigation in these areas by drawing on a collection of federal grant awards totaling about $130 million—including a recently awarded $19.3 million PROTECT grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. These awards have been largely attained through programs that were funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, such as Natural Resources Conservation Service Emergency Watershed Protection Program and U.S. Forest Service Good Neighbor Authority, with grant match assistance through the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management.

“It is encouraging to see such a high level of state and federal investment in our County,” Patrice Horstman, District 1 Supervisor and Vice-Chair of the Board, said. “This is what it looks like when government works together for the benefit of our land, our people, and our collective future.”

For more information on the post-wildfire flood mitigation in the Pipeline Fire Flood Area, visit www.coconino.az.gov/SchultzPipelineFireFloodArea.

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