Phoenix — America's hottest and fastest-growing big city — is on the frontlines in the fight against drought, extreme heat, and wildfire. We bring you stories of how these global problems affect real Arizonans, and what is being done to solve them. This podcast series is supported by the Arizona Community Foundation and Intel.

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Fire Pt. 2: Sorting Through the Ashes

The Leazier family.
Trisha Peralta, Jess Leazier, and their children stand at the Flagstaff property where they grew up, after their home burned down in the Tunnel Fire. Jess and her 10-year-old son live there today with Jess's father and her aunt. (Photo by Anthony Wallace)
Anthony J. Wallace

In April 2022, 50-mile-per-hour winds propelled the Tunnel Fire toward neighborhoods just north of Flagstaff, Arizona where it destroyed 30 homes. Weeks after the fire—and the media attention surrounding it—fizzled out, volunteers, homeowners, and government officials were working tirelessly to clean up the damage and help the community recover. In this episode, we visit the burn site and look at the physical destruction and emotional turmoil wildfire causes, how and why homeowners insurance often fails to cover the cost of rebuilding, and how one disaster often paves the way for more in the future. 

Click here for the Leazier family's GoFundMe, where they are raising money to rebuild their home after it was destroyed in the Tunnel Fire.