CURRENT NEWS . . .
BIGHORN FIRE MORNING UPDATE – Click to see the latest Public Information Map. The Morning Update is now on Facebook as a video for today. There is a virtual community meeting tonight at 8pm on the inciweb website and facebook as well.
BIGHORN FIRE MORNING UPDATE – (July 5, 2020)
There is a new team on the Bighorn fire starting today. The Southwest Area Incident Management Team 4 led by Carl Schwope, Incident Commander, takes command. Cick HERE for the latest information.
OFD UPDATE – (July 3, 2020) The Pinal County Public Works Yard in Oracle, and throughout the County, is closed today in observance of the July 4th holiday. They will reopen next week for their regular hours: Mon -Fri. 5:30am-4pm. Also, the amounts of sandbags allowed per household has been doubled to 50, in recognition of the flood potential. THANK YOU, PINAL COUNTY!
Note: The flood potential does not necessarily affect everyone in Oracle, but we wanted everyone to be aware as if it doesn’t affect your personal property, it could potentially, affect the roadways that you travel.
Please remember that Pinal County has banned all fireworks for the meantime. Have a very safe and fun (socially distanced, of course!) Fourth of July! Happy Birthday, America!
FLOOD WATCH – If there is ever 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.
ORACLE UPDATE (07-02-2020) – There is a flood watch starting today as rains are predicted on Mt Lemmon and in the area of the Bighorn fire which may cause increased amount of runoff. Sand bags may be obtained at the Pinal County Public Works Yard behind the courthouse. Sand to fill them is located behind the helicopter landing pad. Please prepare for possible floods now. Click HERE for more information.
FIREWORKS – The Pinal County Board of Supervisors voted to ban the use of consumer fireworks, even though purchasing is legal under state law. The ban may be lifted after the monsoons. This does not apply to commercial fireworks displays. Similar bans are in effect across most of Arizona.
UPDATED NEWS (June 26, 2020) – 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.
• THE BAER REPORT – Something that has been added to the information on inciweb, is the BAER (Burned Area Emergency Response). This is the introduction of this BAER team and what it does, but for those of us in Oracle who lived through the Aspen Fire, the importance of the aftermath of fire: FLOODS, cannot be understated. Oracle lost one of its dearest residents to one of these post-fire floods and we need to remain informed and vigilant to these dangers, as well as to other impacts of post-fire.
GOOD MORNING (June 24, 2020) – Oracle has awoken to a lot of smoke today due to increased burnout operations along Oracle Ridge last night. The Incident Team is continuing to increase the depth of the fire break between Oracle and the Bighorn fire. During the earlier morning update, it was stated that the main concern for Oracle today will be the smoke, as they continue burning prior to the arrival of winds tomorrow and Friday. Here is today's Morning Update. Here's an updated map and a smoke report.
You can watch filmed updates by following the Facebook link below or by visiting the InciWeb site, also below.
Additionally, there are two phone numbers that you can call to get answers to questions you may have:
Bighorn Fire Info: (520) 329-7439 & (520) 276-8981, 8am-8pm
Media Phone Line: (520) 329-7640, 8am-8pm
In the morning update, the updated number of acres burned is 74,547 acres and the fire remains at 33% contained. You will also see that Oracle (not including Saddlebrooke Ranch) remains in the SET position (be prepared to evacuate if necessary). This includes the Campo Bonito/High Jinks/Peppersauce areas.
LARGE ANIMALS – Oracle has a large animal assistance group
who is willing to help out if you need them.
Please TEXT Megan at 520-395-7968.
CAMPO BONITO UPDATE – (June 22, 2020)
GO Evacuation orders have now been lifted for the Campo Bonito, High Jinks, ZipLine, and Peppersauce area. They are now in the SET status along with Oracle.
SATURDAY, JUNE 20 – Residents in the Oracle and San Manuel areas should expect to again see smoke and possibly flames this evening and into the night as firefighters continue to use fire to remove fuel from the path of the Bighorn Fire.
Weather conditions Saturday evening will allow firefighters to continue burn operations from last night. Fire crews will be conducting back burns directly south of the community of Oracle, approximately 2 miles south from the Coronado National Forest boundary and along Old Mount Lemmon Highway near Peppersauce.
• Residents with health concerns due to poor air quality should consider voluntarily relocating to the Red Cross Evacuation Center at C.D.O. High School in Oro Valley or with family or friends outside of the area.
• Large animals can be sheltered at the Pinal County Fairgrounds in Casa Grande.
• There are no changes to the "Set" or "Go" alert areas in Pinal County as this time. For Fire Information, please call 520-276-8981.
Be sure to check this website or our facebook page for updates.
ORACLE STATUS, JUNE 19 – Oracle (not including Saddlebrooke Ranch) is still under the SET stage of evacuations. Please be prepared to leave if you receive a GO notification.
Notice: Tonight you may see smoke and possibly flames from a scheduled backburn south of Oracle. This is approximately two miles south from the Coronado Forest boundary and along the Mt Lemmon area near Peppersauce.
There are no changes on the SET / GO stages of Oracle. For Fire information call 520-276-8981. Be sure to check this website or our facebook page for updates.
HEALTH CONCERNS? Those with health concerns should consider relocating to the Red Cross evacuation center at CDO High School in Oro Valley or with friends.
LARGE ANIMALS – Large animal evacuations are located at the Pinal County Fairgrounds in Casa Grande. We also have a large animal assistance group who is willing to help out. If you are in need of help, please TEXT Megan at 520-395-7968.
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.
UPDATE campo bonito area (June 19, 2020) The Campo Bonito, ZipLine/ and Peppersauce area was evacuated this morning. GO status means there is danger in your area and is imminent and life-threatening. Take your emergency GO kit and evacuate immediately to shelter or with family or friends outside the affected area. Follow instructions from emergency personnel and stay on designated evacuation routes.
The community of Oracle and outlying areas are now in the SET - Be Alert stage of evacuations. There is significant danger in your area. Please consider voluntarily relocating with family or friends outside the affected area. We just got notice that Rillito is no longer taking large animals. You will need to take them to Pinal County Fairgrounds located at 512 11 Mile Corner, Casa Grande, AZ. Stay aware of the latest news and information from public safety officials.
Check Facebook.com/bighornfireinfo or the Oracle Fire District Facebook page or this website: www.oraclefire.org. Again, this is the SET stage of evacuations.
LETTER FROM FIRE CHIEF JENNINGS . . . (June 13, 2020)
Good evening Oracle residents,
The smoke blowing into Oracle from the Big Horn Fire over the last week has been of concern for many of us here in Oracle. I would like to reassure you that our community is of the highest priority. I have been involved with the Type 1 management team on the Big horn Fire and have established a great professional working relationship and have had the opportunity to express our concerns with them. Communication and planning have been a major part of their meetings. As the fire progresses, so will the involvement of Oracle Fire District. Along with the Type 1 team, I have been in constant contact with the Pinal County Office of Emergency Management, the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, and Coronado National Forest. The fire is not in Pinal County at this time.
You may start seeing more crews from Coronado National Forest and other fire agencies in Oracle. This is a good and positive thing! This is part of strategic planning, should the fire continue its northward trajectory. When you see these resources, you can rest assured that we are all planning ahead for anything that may come our way, and that we will keep you as up to date as possible with any information that may pertain to our community.
If you live in the Oracle Fire District please click on the Emergency Notification System pdf form, print it out and fill
it in to sign up for the Emergency Notification System from the Oracle
Fire District. By completing this form and either emailing it back to
Tina or bringing it into the front office of the Oracle Fire District,
you will be added to our most effective way of notifying you in case of
an emergency. Additionally, we often updates on our website
(www.oraclefire.org) as well as our Oracle Fire District Facebook page
which provides a lot of information on the side tabs, including the
Ready, Set, Go, tab, which has much useful information regarding
For those of you who reside in SaddleBrooke or SaddleBrooke Ranch your
Fire District is Golder Ranch and you can fill out the Pinal County
Notification (PENS) Form HERE.
By completing this form and either emailing it back to Tina or bringing it into the front office of the fire station, you will be added to our most effective way of notifying you in case of an emergency. Additionally, we often update this website and our Oracle Fire District Facebook page. We have a lot of information on the sidebar tabs including the Ready, Set, Go tab, which has much useful information regarding evacuation preparation.
We do not want to wait until the last minute to prepare for a wildfire. Please review your personal evacuation plans, have a list of things to pack in case of evacuation (available under the Ready, Set, Go tab and continue to Firewise your property and home. More than anything, stay calm.
Robert Jennings, Fire Chief,
Oracle Fire District
READY, SET, GO!
• Visit pima.gov/bighorn for the most up-to-date information on evacuation notices and county resources. View a map of the Ready, Set, Go areas at pimamaps.maps.arcgis.com
• Residents in the vicinity of East Golder Ranch Drive and East Rollins Road remain in “GO! – Evacuate” status.
• An American Red Cross evacuation center is open at Canyon del Oro High School, 25 W Calle Concordia.
• Closures remain in effect. Catalina State Park is closed. ALL of the Coronado National Forest is also closed due to fire. View the closure order and map at inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/closures/6741/
• Fire Information Phone Line: (520) 329-7439, 8AM-8PM
• InciWeb: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6741/
• Facebook: The Forest Service - Coronado National Forest
• Smoke Outlook: wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/EasternArizona
Wildfires are a No Drone Zone. The temporary flight restriction in place over the fire area has been expanded to account for crews working around Mt. Lemmon. Every time a drone is seen near the fire all aircraft are grounded until we can be sure the drone is clear of the area. For more information visit Know Before You Fly, http://knowbeforeyoufly.org
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 REOPENING! – The burning of the brush at the Oracle brush dump went well recently and the decision has been made to open it up for our regular schedule starting now
(7 days a week from 7am-5pm). The exchange of the key will now take place at the 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.
Starting Monday, April 20, we will start collecting fees and we appreciate exact change: $3 for one load (the back of a truck or a trailer), $5 for both the back of a truck AND a trailer, $10 for a dump truck. You may pay for multiple loads if you know you’ll be making multiple trips. We do not have a cash register and cannot make change for anything over a $5 bill.
Thank you again for your patience and understanding. As a local government entity, we feel obliged to follow government recommendations but we have heard you over the last three weeks and made the decision to open back up a bit early to accommodate all of you who have been hard at work clearing brush around your properties and doing your part to make Oracle a safer place to live.
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.
WHAT ARE THE RULES FOR OUTDOOR BURNING IN ORACLE?
Click HERE to find out more.
Drive Up and Take Away – On May 30, 2020, the Oracle Community Learning Garden had another Drive Up and Take Away distribution of fresh produce boxes for the tri-communities area. This was fresh produce that had been rescued and otherwise would have been sent to a landfill.
OFD Firewise and Cert volunteers helped out with the distribution by sorting and boxing produce, teardown and cleanup at the Oracle courthouse. Certs/FW/OFD worked alongside volunteers from the Community Garden (who organized it through the nonprofit Borderlands), Saddlebrooke Ranch Rotary Club, Pinal County Volunteers, Triad and the Community Center as well as Oracle residents. Oracle Community Garden ordered 200 produce boxes from the nonprofit Borderlands. There were cucumbers, zucchini, squash, tomatoes and watermelons. Thank you all! It’s wonderful to see our various community organizations coming together for the good of all!