All Arizona Fire Restrictions and Closures
Wildfire Awareness Week March 30 - April 5, 2014 - Memo and Toolkit
Fire Prevention Tips
It is fire season in the Southwest.
Winds, drought, and high temperatures have combined to make Arizona's forests and desert areas EXTREMELY dry this year. Conditions are so dry and there is so much dry wood and vegetation that many public lands have issued restrictions. A few areas are closed as well. Arizona Interagency Fire Prevention is working hard to inform people about fire prevention. We encourage everyone to be especially cautious while out on public or private forests or brushlands.
THINK BEFORE YOU ACT!
Live and dead fuels that may start a wildfire are everywhere--they impact recreation areas and may destroy homes and cabins and threaten lives.
Chainsaws, broken glass, carelesssly tossed cigarettes, fireworks, abandoned campfires, catalytic converters, and discharge of firearms are all known causes of wildfire.
We offer the following tips to help ensure that human caused wildfires are kept to a minimum this year:
REPORT ALL WILDFIRES TO 911
CAMPING AND PICNICKING
Know before you go!
Check for Fire Restrictions by calling the hotline toll-free at 1-877-864-6985 or go to the Fire Restrictions Website.
Fire restrictions vary but most mean that no open fires are allowed except in established campgrounds with fire grills or pits. Some areas have prohibited all fires except gas or propane camp stoves, some restrict all types of flame.
NEVER LEAVE YOUR FIRE UNATTENDED AND STAY WITH IT UNTIL IT IS OUT COLD
Pausing or parking a car or truck in tall grass or over shrubs can start fires. This not only may damage your vehicle but may also start a quickly moving fire. Do not park where vegetation is touching the underside of your vehicle. Also be sure that all vehicles and tires are in excellent working order; chains or other recreational trailer equipment must not drag or dangle from the truck; secure all recreational equipment when traveling, these can get hot or create sparks causing not just one but multiple wildfires. Look behind you as your driving to make sure all is well. It's always a good idea to carry a fire extinguisher
Grass burns quickly and dry,windy conditions can turn into a wall of flames in minutes.
A burning cigarette is a small fire ready to become a larger one.
Cigarettes are made to burn long and slowly and can start fires even hours after being dropped or thrown away. Never walk off and leave a burning cigarette and be aware of all smoking restrictions when recreating on public lands.
Fireworks are not permitted on public lands throughout the entire state.
Sparks from fireworks can cause wildfires in dry vegetation. Many cities and towns in Arizona have regulations that restrict the use of fireworks. Some towns and cities are including fireworks displays as part of their holiday celebrations. Please check your local newspaper for times and locations.
CHAINSAWS AND EQUIPMENT
Sparks from chainsaws, welding torches, and other equipment can cause wildfires.
Use spark arresters, refrain from welding and use of spark-creating machines when fire danger is high. Follow fire restrictions and closures--in some areas chainsaws are not allowed.
HOMES AND BUILDINGS
To a wildfire your house or cabin in the country, if built of flammable materials, is only fuel. Wildfires do not discriminate between trees and cabins--if it is flammable it will burn. You can take steps to protect your home from a wildfire's flames by taking some simple steps to create defensible space, an area around your building that discourages fire from coming too near. Slope, vegetation types, planting design, location of outbuildings all affect a wildfire's ability to reach your home.
Defensible space can be created in many ways. For example you can:
- plant fire resistant plants
- space plants to slow the spread of fire from plant to plant
- place woodpiles and wooden picnic tables well away from buildings
- keep roofs free of needles and leaves
- screen openings under decks and attic and foundation vents
- more tips on protecting your home
KIDS CAN HELP
- by never playing with matches, lighters, flammable liquids, or any fire
- by telling their friends about fire prevention and sharing their knowledge about what to do in a fire emergency
- by staying calm during an emergency and listening to the instructions given to them by their parents by remembering their assigned meeting place and by coming promptly upon hearing the signal
- by keeping their toys, bikes and belongings out of the driveway so firefighters and their equipment can come through during a fire emergency
For more outdoor fire safety tips, visit SmokeyBear.com