As many of you are aware, we have had an extremely dry year thus far in Arizona and it has led to a severe drought throughout the state. According to statistics from the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) on June 5, 2018, nearly 100% of Arizona is currently in a drought, with approximately 75% of the state at the highest two levels of drought, Extreme Drought-D3, and Exceptional Drought-D4. Less than half of the state was in drought the same week last year, and at that time, none of Arizona qualified for either the extreme or exceptional levels of drought. The extremity of this year’s drought has led to numerous fire bans and area closures of several national forests and parks.
There have already been multiple fires this year, and we know there are probably many more to come as we enter summer, temperatures continue to rise, and the drought grows worse. While many of us in the valley have been minimally affected by the drought at this time, aside from some changes to summer vacation plans in the mountains, there are those whose lives and families are being impacted far more extensively, primarily our firefighters. We express our deepest gratitude to the first responders who are willing to put their lives on the line to protect the lands, property, and especially the people of our state who are put in harm’s way due to the ongoing wildfires.
It is because of the immense respect and gratitude that we feel for firefighters, and for all first responders, that we began our program, Protecting Our Protectors. Through this program, we provide a free last will and testament to our protectors: police officers, firefighters, hotshots, active military, and emergency medical support. Our hope is that by so doing, we can assist those who are constantly assisting us and aid in bringing comfort and peace to both first responders and their families. If you are a first responder interested in this free service, please visit our Protecting Our Protectors page and fill out our eligibility form to request an appointment.
Thank you again to our firefighters and all first responders who make sacrifices every day to protect our lands, our possessions, and our lives!