Teresa Ehnert, Bureau Chief of Public Health Emergency Preparedness for the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) looked out over the full banquet room with a smile on her face.
"We wouldn't be one of the front runners [in the country] for Access and Functional Needs preparedness without all of you," she said.
In the summer of 2011, the Wallow Fire burned 538,049 acres (840 square miles), crossing into different jurisdictions as it burned in the White Mountains.
Arizona has its share of exciting weather. The busiest season for Arizonians is usually summer, when the monsoon hits. Monsoonal days are characterized by extreme heat and intense moisture, creating high humidity; the perfect recipe for thunderstorms that produce the kind of heavy rain, high winds and lightning that can cause flash flooding and dust storms, and spark wildfires.