The Coconino National Forest near Flagstaff, Arizona is one of the most diverse National Forests in the country with landscapes ranging from the famous Red Rocks of Sedona to Ponderosa Pine Forests, to alpine tundra. Home to herds of elk and antelope, bald eagles and osprey, the forest supports a delicate ecosystem of plants and animals who depend on the area’s trees for food, shelter and climate control.
In June 2010, a large wildfire, known as the Schultz Fire, burned over 15,000 acres, including Schultz Peak. The suspected cause is a campfire left unattended, and the fire grew rapidly due to high winds, requiring the Coconino County sheriff to close U.S. 89 and evacuate 748 homes, an animal shelter, Sunset Crater and Wupatki National Monument. 300 firefighters responded, including personnel from the U.S. Forest Service to control the massive blaze. Researchers at Northern Arizona University have put the financial impact of a 2010 wildfire and subsequent flooding at more than $130 million and one teenager lost their life in the flooding.