LB - Orthopaedic Specialists of Central Arizona

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Prescott Valley Tribune | Prescott Valley, Arizona

home : latest news : local November 24, 2015

4/23/2014 9:54:00 AM
Fire danger: manage with pre-emptive strike
Tribune file photo
Tribune file photo
Fire restrictions in effect
The Central Yavapai Fire District imposed Stage I fire restrictions last week consistent with the Prescott Fire Department, Chino Valley Fire District and the Prescott National Forest. 

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions:

• No building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire without a permit EXCEPT in Forest Service developed camp or picnic ground. The following actions are permitted: petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns, or heating devices

• No smoking unless in an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material

• No operation or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order.

Stage 2 Fire Restrictions:

• No building, maintaining, attending or using open fire, campfires or stove fires

• No smoking unless in an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or within a three foot diameter cleared to mineral soil

• No operation welding, acetylene or other torch with an open flame

• No operation or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order.

For information regarding burn permits, visit:

Briana Lonas

The enemy is fire and the victims sometimes lose their homes.

Homeowners living on property or large lots should consider several factors before spring turns into a hot, dry summer, according to fire safety officials.

"Residents in Prescott Valley, or anybody living in an urban interface, should look at their property and think about providing defensible space," CYFD Fire Marshall Rick Chase said.

Thinning out vegetation and clearing weeds takes away from the continuity of vegetation growth, Chase said, effectively minimizing the chance for flames to spread quickly. Residents would benefit from creating a firebreak by thinning the vegetation around their homes. Also, keep mulch piles away from the home and fully extinguish fireplace and fire pit ashes.

"Flames can easily move from dry grasses and trees to your home's deck and wood siding," Chase said.

For residents with chaparral growing on their property, such as some areas in StoneRidge, they should thin these scrub-type plants out as much as possible.

"If a fire was to move towards their subdivision, (thinning) would basically take away the fire's ability to move plant to plant," Chase said.

Manzanita, one particular native shrub, contains volatile oils that can act as a fire accelerant. "If you have a lot of it, thin it out," he recommends.

For most people, thinning trees and shrubs 30 to 50 feet away from the home helps. For homeowners living on a slope, remember that heat rises, causing a fire to travel uphill.

"Fire does not like to move downhill. As the flames move uphill, it preheats everything in its path, accelerating the movement of the fire," Chase said.

He also cautioned that south-facing plants and vegetation tend to be drier because of the intensity and duration of sunlight.

"Think of all the light grasses in Prescott Valley. Keep those mowed down on your property so they will create a shorter flame length. The longer the grasses, the greater the flame length, up to five to six feet higher. Factor in high winds that easily can spread the flames," Chase said.

Officials also recommend moving firewood piles away from the home in addition to removing dead trees and weeds. Trim and prune back trees five feet above the ground.

For those living in a forest setting, it's especially important to thin trees to prevent a crown fire that would allow flames to advance quickly, jumping from treetop to treetop ahead of the ground fire.

A local nursery or landscape contractor may be a useful resource in developing a fire wise yard plan incorporating plants that hold moisture, Chase said.

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LB - Orthopaedic Specialists of Central Arizona

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