The town of Pinetop-Lakeside, Arizona is situated next to the largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest in the world. Located in the eastern edge of the state, Pinetop-Lakeside rests at the base of the White Mountains. In recent years, two historic wildfires—the Rodeo Chediski Fire in 2002 and the Wallow Fire in 2011—collectively consumed nearly 1 million acres. These fires forced the evacuation of the town and burned more than 500 structures.
Having experienced the devastation of wildfires first-hand, the citizens, fire districts, and elected officials of Pinetop-Lakeside understand the need to plan for potential future wildfires. Several collaborations in the community focus on homeowner outreach, public education, and forest management practices to reduce wildfire risks.
In 2019, Pinetop-Lakeside worked with the CPAW team to develop a wildfire hazard assessment and identify opportunities to improve land use planning for wildfire risk reduction. CPAW’s final recommendations for Pinetop-Lakeside include: to define the wildland-urban interface (WUI) and implement a risk assessment program; to develop a coordinated approach to guide wildfire and land use planning decisions; to update and align regulations to decrease susceptibility of development to wildfire; and to formalize an implementation process to address capacity challenges.
- 2019 CPAW Community
- Population (2014): 4,361
- Growth Rate (2000-2016): 22%
- Fuel Type: Sagebrush, ponderosa pine, piñon-juniper