CURRENT NEWS . . .
Congratulations and Happy 15th Year Anniversary to the Oracle Firewise Community – Thank you to everyone who was able to attend the 15-Year Firewise Community signage presentation by Aaron Casem, State Fire Prevention and Mitigation Officer with the AZ Dept. of Forestry and Fire Management. Aaron drove in from Phoenix with the signs created by the NFPA. Barb Elliott and three other staff members of Pinal County Emergency Management arrived from Florence for the presentation.
As always, a special thank you to journalist, John Hernandez from The Miner for his photography and story on the accomplishment.
It was great to have most of the firewise board members in attendance! Each one has contributed through the years to the success of Oracle’s Firewise program by giving of their precious time, developing innovative ideas to keep the program going and always focusing on the community’s safety.
Thank you to Kevin Armbrust has already installed one of the new signs to the block post beneath the reader board in front of OFD.
Click HERE to read more about the Oracle Firewise Board.
BRUSH DUMP STATUS – Beginning on Tuesday, Sept. 8th, 2020, the brush dump will be closed until further notice. The closure comes due to no favorable moisture and the brush dump reaching its maximum capacity. Once the weather allows, we will
do a burn and re-open the brush dump after we determine it is safe to do so. We are sorry for any inconvenience
this may cause our residents.
Oracle Fire District
VOUCHERS – We appreciate your efforts to maintain a Firewise home and community and we encourage you to continue. Supervisor Rios has offered six vouchers this year for free dumping at Waste Management. Please call his office at (520) 866-7830 for information on how you can obtain these vouchers, which can be used for the disposal of green waste until we can safely burn the large piles at the brush dump.
Note: Normally we can get 3 vouchers yearly. The additional 3 vouchers includes those authorized by Supervisor Rios. All can be used for trash or brush. Therefore if you already have 3, you can get an additional 3 vouchers for 2020.
ENGINE 692 in CALIFORNIA – We recently got this message on our incoming OFD emails: "Hello, we live in Orange County CA, and saw Oracle's E692 westbound on I-10 through Pomona yesterday evening. I'm sure you all were enroute to one of the fires burning here. Looking at where Oracle is, it must've been an all day drive. Thank you and God bless you for your service."
OFD IN CALIFORNIA – Oracle Fire District recently sent Engine 692 to help out on the fires in Northern California. The engine photo (left) shows where the Oracle crew was “holding” the fire so that it wouldn’t travel down to the creek below.
Engineer Manspeaker, Firefighter Huerta, Engineer Savage, and Captain Farrell (in tree photo) were positioned in the High Sierra National Forest where they were on Initial Attack for the Trimmer Fire which grew into a 400+ acre Type 2 fire.
CRITTER ALERT! – Note there have been several sightings of rattle snakes lately. A local resident was lucky enough to get hers removed from her property by OFD's C-Shift. Good job guys! If you find yourself in a similar situation, you can call OFD at 896-2980 instead of dealing with the situation yourself. Better a call than a bite!
CREW HAVING FUN! (August 2020) – One of the OFD crews found a fun way to combine a “breathe down” – breathing through an entire tank of air, while playing basketball in the middle of the day with the temperature at 100 degrees. Now that’s dedication! Thank you OFD firefighters!
NO OPEN BURNING! – Just a reminder, at present, Pinal County has suspended all open burning permits until further notice. This will continue until the summer monsoons arrive and mitigate the dual risks to public safety and public health.
BE PREPARED FOR THE RAINS! (August 2020) – We did not get the rain and monsoons that we had expected. But they can hit us when we least expect it. It's important to be prepared as August is a rainy month. See important information below:
BE PREPARED: FLOOD WATCH IN ORACLE (August 2020) – This link to NOAA takes you to their official flood warning information for our area.
PRECAUTIONARY / PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS –
Move away from recently burned areas. Life-threatening flooding of creeks, roads and normally dry arroyos is likely. The heavy rains will likely trigger rockslides, mudslides and debris flows in steep terrain, especially in and around these areas. Turn around, don`t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles.
If there is heavy rainfall over the Bighorn burn scar, residents near the scar should prepare for potential flooding impacts. Be sure to stay up to date with information from local authorities. This is a flood watch not a warning.
SAND BAGS – Pinal County Public Works is providing sandbags and sand to help shore up areas. Bring your own shovel to load the bags. There is a limit of 50 sandbags per household. The Public Works yard in Oracle is located at 1410 N. Justice Dr. just south of the Oracle Courthouse. Hours of operation are Mon-Fri, 5:30am-4pm. Sandbags can be found inside the fence behind / north of the courthouse. They are in a trash can beside a bright yellow “Sandbagger,” which is not filled. Take these bags to the west side of the Helicopter Landing Zone, where there are several big piles of sand.
Note: The flood potential does not necessarily affect everyone in Oracle, but be aware, if it doesn’t affect your personal property, it could, potentially, affect roadways that you travel.
READY, SET, GO STATUS FOR ORACLE – The evacuation threat to all of Oracle has been changed from Set-Be Alert back to the Ready state. The Ready - state means the following:
• Be aware of hazards that threaten your community.
• Create a defensible space around your home by clearing 30
to 100 feet of vegetation to protect it from fire.
• Build an emergency go kit with enough food, water and
emergency supplies for 72 hours.
• Write a family communication and evacuation plan.
NEW SUMMER NEWSLETTER – is now OUT!
You should be getting your copy in the postal mail. We also have it on this website. Click HERE to see a pdf which you can also print. It covers recent topics such as the ENS system, flooding, Ready-Set-Go and an evacuation list for reference.
GETTING ALERTS – If you have not yet turned in our ENS form to be added to the OFD emergency notification system, please fill out the form, complete and either email back to OFD (Tina), fax, or bring in. Don’t forget to sign up for the Pinal County Emergency Notification System as well.
READY, SET, GO!
• Visit pima.gov/bighorn for the most up-to-date information on evacuation notices and county resources.
SUMMER PRECAUTIONS – As weather heats up, so does potential for wildfires along highways. Simple precautions can reduce chances of sparks from vehicles and trailers. Here’s how you can help cut down on sparks that start wildfires:
• Check and secure tow chains; never substitute parts when towing.
• Make sure nothing is hanging from your vehicle or trailer and dragging on the pavement.
• Check tire pressure. Exposed wheel rims can cause sparks.
• Check for worn brake pads, which can cause sparks from metal-on-metal contact.
• Don’t park in tall grass, as the heat from parts under your vehicle can start a fire.
For more information on how to prevent fires, please visit wildlandfire.az.gov
UPDATE FROM PINAL COUNTY – Suspension of Open Burn Permits. Permits to burn brush will no longer be valid as of April 28th and continue until further notice. This will continue until the summer monsoons arrive and mitigate the dual risks to public safety and public health. Learn more at pinalcountyaz.gov/AirQuality/Pages/BurnPermits
CAMPFIRE BAN IN NATIONAL FORESTS – As of April 22, fires, charcoal, grills & BBQs, coal and wood stoves are prohibited in all six Arizona national forests until June 30 or until rescinded. Click HERE to read the entire notice. Coronado National Forest has now put Oracle fire danger status at HIGH. Please get ready for whatever comes our way this summer.
THE ORACLE EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION SYSTEM (ENS) –
You can't afford not to be on this list for emergency notifications. Click to go to the "ENS" form and be
sure to get any additional numbers (besides your landline) in the system by filling it out and returning it to
Oracle Fire District. Just drop it by the fire station.
HOME ALONE ENS SYSTEM – If you are in need of an earlier warning to evacuate due to your health or to relocate animals and livestock, you can be in a special group that gets ENS warnings ahead of the general public. Here's a LIST of evacuation information that may help you.
INTERESTED IN EVACUATION PREPARATION OR WILDFIRE STATUS? Here are some links and documents that will help you find the information you need:
• Ready, Set, Go - Information on One Less Spark, One Less Wildfire.
• How to Have a Firewise Home (606kB)
• Living with Wildfire (3.5MB)
• FEMA Evacuation Checklist (123kB)
• One Less Spark (Poster) (2MB)
• Newsletter - SUMMER
• EQUINE & LIVESTOCK EVAC PREP - Link to Video on youtube – Wildfire preparedness tips from a firefighter, veterinarian and ranch owner called "Saving the Ranch."
BRUSH DUMP OPEN! – The Oracle brush dump is now open on our regular schedule starting now
(7 days a week from 7am-5pm). The exchange of the key will now take place at the OFD front window, like a bank teller, to reduce the amount of contact between the public and our staff and volunteers.
Please ensure that you only bring vegetation to the brush dump. Construction materials, even though made of wood, are not acceptable. Our permit is for vegetation only. This brush dump is offered to the community of Oracle as a means for our residents to create defensible space around their homes and to strengthen our Firewise community. There is only one other community in southern Arizona that offers such a privilege. PLEASE help us keep the brush dump for vegetation only. All other trash, construction materials, and green cactus need to go to Waste Management.
MORE INFORMATION – Would you like more useful info on wildfire?
Click HERE for News & Information, Fire Weather, Maps, WIldland Fire Data in Google Earth, Arizona Fire Ecology, WIldland Fire, Firewise Resources, Smoke and Air Quality, Info for Before, During and After a Wildfire, How to Help and Fire Prevention & Education topics. There are several excellent artlces relative under each topic you can click to at the Arizona Interagency Wildfire Prevention website.
WILDFIRE INFORMATION – There is ONE WEBSITE that has the best information on all major fires in the US. Make this a bookmark for Arizona and any other state you may want to check on. The home page takes you to the most current and largest fires. It has maps, details and updates. For all fires in one state, click at the top right, choose your state and click GO. Click HERE to go to that site or bookmark the link: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/
What is a Red Flag Warning? – According to the National Weather Service, a Red Flag Warning is issued when a "combination of low humidity, strong winds, dry ground cover, and warm temperatures are expected to bring critical fire weather conditions to the warned area." When we have these conditions, you may see our NEW, larger red flag flying in front of the fire station. Please be vigilant and cautious especially on these days.