Are You Ready for Wildfire Season in Arizona?
With the recent 300-acre brush fire near Hereford last week, and the Longview fire that hit the Sonoita-Elgin area last month, the very real danger of wildfires has once again come to our doorstep.
Watching the smoke billow up in the southeast, and the smell of smoke as the high winds licked at the flames, I had a sudden flashback to the Monument Fire in 2011 that touched so many of us.
Taking a trip to Fry's one afternoon at the height of the fires and evacuations, the smell was pushing its way into the door of the grocery store. The tired faces of my friends and neighbors is something I'll never forget.
I was watching the social media sites as news of the Hereford fire spread, as it did in 2011. People with horse trailers offered to help pick up and evacuate animals. Various organizations stepped up to let homeowners know there was a place from them if they were separated from their homes. Individuals volunteered to help move, relocate and evacuate anyone who needed help.
Remember the process as moved and helped moved livestock, bunked with friends and relatives, it's important to remember the fire danger here in Southeastern Arizona is never zero, but there things homeowners can do in an attempt to help lessen the danger.
According the US Forrest Service, here's what you should do to help make your home a defensible space:
- Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks. This prevents embers from igniting your home.
- Remove dead vegetation and other items from under your deck or porch, and within 10 feet of the house. ...
- Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating.
Pack a Go-Bag for members of your family. Be sure to include a supply of medications, and always ensure important documents are included, like birth certificates, passports, and more.
Don't forget about your pets: pull out those pet cages, leashes, collars, medications, and anything else you might need to evacuate your pets in an emergency.
For more information on how to prepare for a wildfire, see the US Forest Service Website.