CURRENT NEWS . . .
FIREFIGHTER OF THE YEAR – Captain Paul Farrell was presented with the Oracle Firefighter of the Year award during the May Fire Board meeting. Captain Farrell has been employed as a full time firefighter for the past seven years and this is the second time he has received our highest award. Paul's wife and children were in the audience to watch Chief Southard and Chief Jennings present him with a plaque.
FIRE IN ORACLE DURING STORM – During the thunder storm on the afternoon of Monday, May 4th, we responded to a lightning-caused fire near Oracle State Park. Accessing the location of the fire was a little difficult. When our firefighters were able to reach the fire they discovered that the rain had apparently stopped the flames from spreading. Damage was limited to one small area centered around a single smoldering tree that was quickly cut down and extinguished. The fire in itself was not unusual, however it is interesting to note how hot the fire burned during a fairly heavy rain event. If this same situation had occurred during a non-rain event, such as the "dry lightning" storms that often lead up to our monsoon; the outcome could have been a much different situation.
This was the 4th grass/brush fire we've responded to in the past few months . . . and we haven't quite reached our normal fire season which is typically mid-May to mid-July. The grasses right now are tall and thick, however they will soon become dry and extremely flammable. If you haven't created (or maintained) your defensible space, now is certainly the time to get it done. Our trained Firewise Evaluators are always more than glad to visit your property and provide you with helpful suggestions on how you can make your home safer during a wildfire. – Fire Chief Larry Southard
SMOKEY SAYS FIRE STATUS IS NOW AT HIGH!! BURN PERMITS HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED IN ORACLE. Please be careful out there; we recently had a small brush fire on Estill north of Grant that was caught quickly. There are three ways a spark can usually cause these brush fires: 1. from a thrown out cigarette 2. from sparks on a vehicle's dragging chain and 3. from a vehicle's hot catalytic converter contacting grass or other flammable ground source. Be aware – a single spark is all it takes!
NEW BRUSH DUMP FEES – We will be increasing some
of our fees for the Oracle Brush Dump starting in 2015
• One Load: $3.00 • Two Loads: (truckbed plus trailer) $5.00 • Commercial-size load: (dump truck) $10.00.
Remember, items gladly accepted are: tree trimmings and brush. Items NOT accepted are: cactus, garbage, lumber, stumps, paper,
plastics, metal, fluids and site cleaning material. We are open all day, every day!
MASTICATION MACHINE – The Arizona Department of Forestry worked on a brush-thinning project along the west end of Oracle. The 3-mile long project was partially completed by hand crews using chain saws and then placed the cut materials into piles. Those piles were shredded by a mastication machine as shown in these pictures. The mastication machine will be used in places where getting the chipper close enough to the cut material is not feasible. Several upcoming projects will be completed in this same way.
THE ORACLE EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION SYSTEM –
Click HERE to go to the "ONE CALL NOW" form. Please be
sure to get any additional numbers in the system by filling out this form and returning it to
Oracle Fire Dept.
One Less Spark, One Less Wildfire – go to: http://www.wildlandfirersg.org/ for more information!
PROPERTY EVALUATION MAPS – NEW property evaluations by members of the Fire Dept. and the Firewise board have been conducted. Final results are not posted yet, but we will inform you when they are. In the meantime, if you would like to see the present map to see how your property was doing in 2009, click HERE to go DIRECTLY to that page.