Health & Safety

May 31, 2013

Warm, dry season means increased fire potential in Southwest

Maranda Flynn
Staff writer

As the weather gets warmer, outdoor activities increase. To ensure that fun continues safely, always bear fire prevention and safety in mind.
Starting at the beginning of spring, brush and vegetation begin to dry out, creating prime conditions for wildfires. To avoid accidentally starting a wildfire, bear these important tips in mind:

  • Fireworks are prohibited year-round on Fort Huachuca
  • Never leave campsite or picnic fires unattended
  • Always completely extinguish a campsite or picnic fire
  • Avoid parking vehicles in tall grass
  • Pick up broken glass to avoid magnification fires
  • Do not throw cigarettes outside of a vehicle
  • Never dispose of hot coals in a trash receptacle

Fire conditions are posted in various locations around Fort Huachuca. These include a sign outside the Sportsman’s Center, at each gate and at canyon entrances.

During an interview last week, Bud Linardy, acting fire chief, Directorate of Emergency Services, said, “Right now, we are in ‘high’ condition. If we go to ‘very high’ or ‘extreme,’ we close the canyons.” These conditions are subject to change at any time. To verify current conditions, call the Fort Huachuca Fire Dispatch, 533.2116.

While the spring and summer months can be appealing to the Fort Huachuca camping community, campers or picnickers must follow certain safety precautions prior to entering the canyons. In order to camp or picnic in any of the Fort Huachuca areas, people must visit Morale, Welfare and Recreation Rents, or MWR Rents, to obtain a camping or picnic permit. Once applicants receive a permit, they must inform Fire Dispatch so there is adequate coverage in case of an emergency.

Linardy said, “If you are going into the canyons [on Fort Huachuca] notify the Fire Dispatch and let them know that you are going to be there. We need to know how many people you have in the canyons with you, chaperones, what your intentions are … a phone number. If you plan to have a fire, we need to know when you start it and when it is extinguished, and then call us again when you come out of the canyons.”

Be it camping, unit organizations, family barbeques or day-to-day activities, following these tips can prevent a fire from starting. Arizona’s arid climate can be conducive to small fires, which can escalate rapidly.

For non-emergency fire safety and prevention questions, call the Fort Huachuca Fire Dispatch.




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