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HomeNewsLocal NewsRep. David Cook’s bill aimed at strengthening Arizona’s firefighting capabilities signed into...

Rep. David Cook’s bill aimed at strengthening Arizona’s firefighting capabilities signed into law

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Gov. Hobbs signed House Bill 2751, an emergency measure sponsored by State Representative David Cook (R). The bill enables Arizona to join the Great Plains Wildland Fire Protection Compact.

Gov. Hobbs signed Representative Cook’s bill during an event held Friday morning at Phoenix Fire Department’s Emergency Operations Center.  Tom Torres, state forester for DFFM joined with DFFM fire management officer Chief John Truett.

Passed with an emergency clause, the new law takes effect immediately.

HB 2751 Introduced by Representatives Cook: Marshall, Payne, Sandoval.
HB 2751 Introduced by
Representatives Cook: Marshall, Payne, Sandoval.

H.B. 2751 will enhance Arizona’s ability to manage and combat forest fires through a mutual aid agreement with other member states.

“Arizona is, has been one of five states that has not been part of a fire compact for a long time. Today, we remedied that. And so this really provides a lot more resources and the ability for us to be more responsive to wildfire across the state,” said Tom Torres, state forester for DFFM.

The Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management can collaborate with state foresters in other states, including Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Saskatchewan, South Dakota, and Wyoming, to ensure that Arizona can both provide and receive assistance swiftly during wildfire emergencies, improving overall response times and resource availability.

“As we head into fire season, it’s critical that Arizona is prepared to respond effectively to wildfire threats,” said Representative Cook.

The new law provides a framework for administering mutual aid, allowing state forest fire control agencies to quickly request and render firefighting personnel and resources to each other in times of need and to receive reimbursement for their assistance afterwards. It also stipulates the responsibilities of and protections for employees that are involved in out-of-state firefighting efforts, including provisions for workers’ compensation and liability coverage.

“With several large fires currently burning in Northern Arizona, this legislation comes at a crucial time. The enactment of H.B. 2751 will ensure our communities are better protected and our firefighting resources are optimally utilized. I’m grateful for the broad bipartisan support that we had in both chambers to pass this important legislation and for the Governor’s support in quickly signing it into law,” said Representative Cook.

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