The Salt River Fire Department is working to increase awareness about wildfires in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and providing guidance on how to protect property. Recently, a large fire spread across 25 acres and threatened several houses in the Community. With a quick response from SRFD and assistance from fire departments in surrounding cities, the houses were saved from a fire disaster.
According to SRFD Deputy Fire Chief – Safety & Support, Kevin Makil, the key is removing potential fuel for wildfires from your property.
“Make sure you have a 30-foot safety zone around your house, because with all the rain earlier this year, weeds have popped up all over,” said Makil. “We tell everyone that if you have brush around your house, make sure you clear it at least 30 feet [away from the house]. [Move] propane tanks and wood piles 30 feet and clear out all weeds and paper, anything that is dense around the house.”
Many wildfires are caused by humans. Often people don’t realize how quickly a small fire can get out of control.
“We do allow burning out here in the Community,” said Makil. “But we recommend that if you do burn, make sure it’s not a windy day, because embers can be carried by the wind and [land] somewhere else and start a fire.”
Makil also touched on the Community’s fireworks ordinance. SRPMIC Code of Ordinances sections 15-234, 15-235 and 15-237 state:
• It is unlawful for any persons to produce, sell, store, offer for sale, expose for sale, use, possess, fire, display, or discharge (collectively, “use”) any fireworks or pyrotechnics (collectively, “fireworks”) within the SRPMIC.
• It is unlawful for any persons to display or discharge fireworks within the SRPMIC without a fireworks permit.
• Violations will result in a fine of not more than $1,000.
Fireworks can cause wildfires, residential or dwelling fires, potential severe burns and/or lacerations. To avoid wildfires, keep a 30-foot clearance around your home and any other structures on your property. Do not use fireworks where they can start a wildfire or home fire.