Pinal County, through the Office of Emergency Management is assessing environmental hazards to all the communities and residents of the County. It is the County’s desire to identify, evaluate and where practical, lessen the risk of environmental threats to its citizens. One significant risk that faces many county residents is the potential of catastrophic wildland fire. In 2002, the Bullock Fire charred over 30,000 acres and threatened the town of Oracle. In 2003, the Aspen Fire charred 76,000 acres and again threatened the town of Oracle. In 2005, a wildfire in Dudleyville destroyed 3 homes and sent residents to evacuation shelters. The threat of catastrophic wildland fire is still ever present in Pinal County. In order to try and avoid the dangers posed by unwanted wildland fire, Pinal County Emergency Management Officials are developing a Community Wildfire Protection Plan and they would like your input. “We want to know what residents think when it comes to wildfires in their communities,” said Emergency Management Director Pete Weaver. “It’s a problem not limited to just one area of the county, but wildfires pose a danger to all areas of the county.” Weaver explains that a Community Wildfire Protection Plan is defined in the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 (HFRA). HFRA encourages the development of Community Wildfire Protection Plans which define At-Risk Communities and designate the wildland urban interface (WUI) and where to prioritize fuel reduction projects by local, county state and federal agencies. This Plan will identify ways to reduce wildfire risk to all community values in the WUI, provide the mechanism to seek grants for implementation and improve fire prevention and suppression for firefighter and public safety.
“We have worked with a team of natural resource and wildfire specialist from multiple agencies including local fire chiefs the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to make this plan a document that can be used by everyone from the small homeowner to a large business,” “By analyzing 1,986,077 acres this Team evaluated the potential of wildfire risk to 24 communities. The Team found that by analyzing several wildfire hazard components such as vegetation type, slope, aspect, wildfire ignition history and the distribution of residences and other community values across the landscape, that 458,479 acres or 23% of the area analyzed is at high risk of wildfire, 114,654 acres or 6% are at moderate risk and 1,412,944 acres area at low risk to the potential of catastrophic wildland fire. “We invite all residents to download and review the plan. All residents are invited to come to a public meeting so we can answer any questions you may have about the Pinal County Community Wildlife Protection Plan. You cannot put a price tag on safety.”
- Apache Junction – March 23, 2009, Apache Junction Fire District Fire Station 264. 7557 East US Hwy 60, 6:30 pm
- Casa Grande – March 24, 2009, Casa Grande City Council Chambers, 510 E. Florence Boulevard. 6:30 pm
You may submit comments on the plan either through the web site, at the public meetings or by mailing your comments to:
Logan Simpson Design Inc.
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