As temperatures rise — and prior to the monsoon kicking in — wildfires throughout the state are expected to increase as evident by a pair of fires in which local firefighters are helping to battle.

According to Sedona Fire District Assistant Chief Jeff Piechura, as of Wednesday, May 31, SFD was assigned to two fires: Snake Ridge, east of the Village of Oak Creek and Camp Verde and the Pinal Fire near Tucson. Both were lightning caused.

One man is arrested while transporting drugs and cash in his car, acting as a “mule” for a drug cartel. Another is a young man who made one illicit errand while using his mother’s car to go to the bank.

Both could be subject to having their cars and cash seized.

According to Sarah Porter, Director of the Kyl Center for Water Policy, the future of the Verde Valley’s communities is inextricably tied to the Verde River, as well as tributaries like Oak Creek.

Porter delivered her keynote address, “The Price of Uncertainty,” to nearly 200 participants in the Verde River: State of the Watershed Conference, Thursday, May 11, at Clarkdale’s Clark Memorial Clubhouse.

Sedona City Attorney Robert Pickels said he can’t find any instance in which a Sedona-initiated bill has made its way through the state legislature and onto the governor’s desk for signing.

That is until now. Earlier this week, House Bill 2116 had its final reading and passed in the House by a vote of 59-0. The bill was introduced by Rep. Bob Thorpe [RDistrict 6] and co-sponsored by Rep. Brenda Barton [R-District 6].

It came at the request of the city of Sedona to clarify the zoning area within which property owners adjacent to an area subject to a rezoning application may protest. An amendment will be offered in the Senate which will include the subject property in the definition of a zoning area. Gov. Doug Ducey signed the bill into law on Wednesday, May 10.

With fire season just around the corner, the Sedona Fire District is encouraging residents to do their part in reducing the fuels that often allow fires to spread.

As part of that, SFD and the U.S. Forest Service will be hosting the 15th annual cleanup day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, May 19 through 21, at Station 4 at 391 Forest Road in Uptown.

The Sedona Fire District and public got a better idea of what the overall price tag may be in regard to new and upgraded stations in the event it’s determined a bond is needed to cover the costs.

Earlier this year, SFD’s Governing Board approved the creation of a citizen advisory committee to look into funding options, including a bond.

The Yavapai County Flood Control District, in conjunction with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Coconino County Flood Control District and the city of Sedona, has started a multi-year study and remapping of the different flood hazard areas along Oak Creek.

While minor reaches of Oak Creek have been studied, this will be the first complete study of Oak Creek in 30 years that covers the area from Sterling Canyon down to where it merges with the Verde River.

An ongoing issue between residents in a Sedona neighborhood and users of off-highway vehicles may soon be coming to a resolution.

The U.S. Forest Service recently announced that a final decision has been made by Coconino National Forest regarding the Soldier Pass motorized use proposal.

The final decision allows motorized use of Soldier Pass Road by one outfitter or guide, currently Red Rock Western Jeep Tours, and up to 12 unguided public vehicles each day after a permit system has been established.

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