Forest fires have been serious menace, many times resulting in tremendous economic, cultural and ecological damage to many parts of the United States. One particular area that has been significantly affected is the water quality of streams and lakes in the water thirsty southwestern United States. This is because the surface water coming off burned areas has resulted in very serious and immediate water quality problems in streams, lakes and reservoirs in Arizona and the Southwest by introducing hazardous chemicals into the water bodies. The authors have examined data from two of the biggest forest fires in Arizona, the Rodeo Chediski and Wallow fires, and found the problem negatively affecting the water quality of many streams and lakes some with major fish kill. The results of the study may encourage local, state and federal government agencies and other decision-makers to develop better and more proactive policies, guidelines and funding mechanisms to drastically reduce catastrophic forest fires such as the Rodeo Chediski and Wallow fires that drastically impacted the quality of water and other ecosystem values in many areas of Arizona.