With Wildfires Raging and Temperatures Soaring, New Poll Shows Arizonans Want Climate Action

July 8, 2021
Hannah Blatt, hblatt@edfaction.org, 202-572-3534

(Washington, D.C. – July 8, 2021) A large majority of Arizonans are concerned about extreme heat and wildfires, according to poll released today by EDF Action, the advocacy partner of the Environmental Defense Fund. The poll by Morning Consult shows strong public support for action to address heatwaves, wildfires and the underlying climate-related factors that cause drought. The poll comes as the state is experiencing extreme heat, wildfire, and megadrought, which are impacting local communities and the health and well-being of Arizonans.

Key Arizona Findings:

● 86% of respondents are concerned about extreme heat while 83% are concerned with wildfires. And respondents recognize the wide-ranging and harmful impacts fires and heat have on the environment (fires 80% and heat 77%), health (fire 80% and heat 83%) and air quality (fire 84% and heat 73%).

● Bipartisan majorities support a wide array of measures to prevent fires, including:

  • Increasing funding for the U.S. Forest Service that would specifically be designated for preventing wildfires (82%).
  • Removing vegetation at risk of starting wildfires, such as dead trees, and selling or recycling it in order to generate revenue for restoration efforts (83%).
  • Expanding energy efficiency programs to reduce the strain on electricity, gas and water systems and our citizen’s wallets (76%).
  • Adopting stronger pollution limits for vehicles and power plants in order to increase air quality (66%)
  • Implementing policy and technical solutions that even the burden among citizens during power outage crisis (69%).

● Approximately four in five respondents say it’s important for the federal government (79%), state government (86%), local government (87%) and private landowners (85%) to invest in better forest management to build resilience to wildfires.

● A majority of respondents want candidates running for the U.S. Senate to support aggressive action to address wildfires (56%) and extreme heat (54%).

● Approximately three-quarters of respondents believe it’s important for lawmakers at the federal (71%), state (79%) and local (78%) levels to pass legislation to address the underlying climate-related factors causing drought.

“It’s only a few weeks into the official start of summer and Arizona is already suffering through extreme heat and out-of-control wildfires,” said Kevin Moran, EDF Action’s Arizona-based Senior Director. “The public is concerned about this extreme weather and wants leaders to take action on climate change, fire prevention, air quality and drought. We have no time to waste. We must act now to protect our environment, safeguard lives and promote the health of our communities.”

Explore the AZ polling memo here.