The adage is true. One spark can start a wildfire – just like the Sawmill Fire in Southern Arizona. And every year, people continue to be the number one cause of wildfires in the state.
With the abundance of winter moisture across Arizona, the Department of Forestry and Fire Management wants to remind people not to get complacent.
Sunday, April 7, kicked off Southwest Wildfire Awareness Week with this year’s theme, ‘Prevention today for protection tomorrow.’
The goal of the week is to promote actions that prevent human-caused wildfires and reduce the risk of wildfire to homes and our Arizona communities. And prevention is key when it comes to wildfire risk reduction.
Homeowners can do simple tasks to keep wildfire threat low by creating defensible space around their property. Oracle Firewise suggests that the defensible space be 30 feet around your home. The Town of Kearny, this week, announced that on April 19 it will begin warning and citing homeowners for having weeds, dry shrubs or dead trees on their property.
Drivers can help by ensuring tow chains are secure, never tossing cigarette butts out the window, and making sure the vehicle – and tires are in good condition before getting on the road.
To promote the week, DFFM will be focused on increased social media marketing and public service announcements.
The Arizona Department of Transportation will also put up messaging on their highway signs, including “Don’t Drag Chains, One Spark Can Start a Wildfire.”
Recently, DFFM released a mobile phone application as another tool to provide wildfire information, fire restriction details, and fire prevention tips. You can download the free app by searching the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management on the iTunes or Google Play stores.
This year, Southwest Wildfire Awareness Week runs April 7-13 and is a joint collaboration between DFFM, the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildfire Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and New Mexico State Forestry Division.
For more information about how you can protect your property and community, please contact your local fire departments:
• Superior Fire Department 520-689-5671
• Kearny Fire Department 520-363-5566
• Hayden Fire Department 520-356-7507
• Winkelman Fire Department 520-356-7212
• Dudleyville Fire Department 520-357-6585
• Pinal Rural Fire & Medical District 520-465-5300
• Mammoth Fire Department 520-487-2050
• San Manuel Fire Department 520-385-9231
• Oracle Fire Department 520-896-2980
• Golder Ranch Fire Department 520-825-9001