"Notice of Regular Meeting Time Change."
SEFD's Board of Directors voted to change the time of the Regular monthly meetings from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. effective immediately.
The day of the meeting will remain the 4th Monday of each month.

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No sparks: Tow chains, underinflated tires can cause wildfires
Motorists can do their part to make highways spark-free zones

PHOENIX – Summer is right around the corner, and with it comes an increased risk of wildfires along state highways caused by motorists dragging chains, driving on underinflated tires and tossing cigarettes.

Fires along highways not only put people and property at risk but can cause long backups and even extended closures.

Last June, the 377 Fire in Navajo County started when dragging metal on a trailer sparked several fires along 24 miles of State Route 377 between Heber-Overgaard and Holbrook. Those fires grew into a 5,000-acre wildfire that closed the highway for four days and prompted evacuations.

“Simple tasks like properly inflating your tires and taking a moment to make sure nothing is dragging on your vehicle or trailer can significantly reduce the risk of creating sparks that can cause wildfires,” said Dallas Hammit, the Arizona Department of Transportation’s state engineer and deputy director for transportation. “One act of carelessness, like tossing a lit cigarette out the window, can potentially burn thousands of acres.”

According to the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, dragging chains is one of the main causes of fires along highways.

“Roadside fires continue to be one of the biggest causes of Arizona's wildfires every year, especially on heavily traveled highways like Interstates 10 and 17. A majority of these roadside fires are preventable, yet they continue to happen,” said Tiffany Davila, public affairs officer for the Department of Forestry and Fire Management. “Please do your part to help keep wildfire activity low this summer. Before traveling, ensure tow chains are secure and your vehicle is properly serviced. We all need to do our part.”
Here’s how you can help cut down on sparks that start wildfires:
Check and secure tow chains, and never substitute parts when towing.
Make sure nothing is hanging beneath your vehicle and dragging on the pavement.
Check tire pressure before you travel. Exposed wheel rims can cause sparks.
Don’t park in tall grass, as the heat from parts under your vehicle can start a fire.
For more information on how to prevent fires, please visit wildlandfire.az.gov.
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USFS Prescribed Burn.....

The US Forest Service is conducting a prescribed burn at the end of Santa Rita Road on federal land. You may see smoke throughout the day.
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Prescribed burn on Fort Huachuca...

Fort Huachuca is conducting a prescribed burn in the area of the EVG Tower... you may see smoke throughout the day.
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USFS Burn - west of Vera Earl HQ
Probably Tuesday or Wednesday depending on the weather.
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Fire/EMS Stats
2018

SEPTEMBER

MVC 2
Medical 35
Wildfire 3
Structure Fire 1
Vehicle Fire 0
Public Assist 3
Burn Permit 9
Hazmat 0
TOTAL 53

Sonoita-Elgin Fire Season – 2017

Over the past few months the Sonoita-Elgin area has been experiencing a lot of wind-driven wildfires, some small and some large. There have been a few questions asked about tactics used to fight the fires…this is not an easy question to answer in print. First, I would like to state the Sonoita-Elgin Fire is a suppression Department; our objectives are to protect lives, structures, and grasslands.
Sonoita-Elgin (& SEESI) has, for the past few decades, used an Anchor and Flank Method. This is where we start at the heel of the fire (the origin) and flank both sides of the fire, suppressing the fire as we move toward the head. This is the most effective method on most fires. If you approach a fire from the head you still have two active flanks coming up the sides, this in turn will leave you with two fires heading in two different directions. There are times you may see us ahead of the fire setting a back burn or pre-wetting off a road or drainage etc., as was used on the Kellogg Fire. The complications that arose during the Kellogg Fire were too much smoke and heat. Our units could not see but a few feet in front of themselves, making it extremely difficult to virtually impossible to use this technique with the winds (as we have all experienced recently) pushing our fires.
The U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Arizona Department of Forestry & Fire management do not do structure protection. They will try to ring fire around homes if they have ample time. Sonoita-Elgin Fire will protect structures as long as the structures are defensible, and we have the equipment to do so. Wildland trucks carry 300 gallons of water and a 65 gallon per minute pump; a structure engine carries 1000 gallons of water and a 750-1200 gallon per minute pump. It is very hard to protect a structure with a brush truck. And, if we leave the station to suppress a grass fire (taking wildland equipment) and it runs on to structures it’s harder to protect them. So a lot of the time we will back out until the fire passes then we go back in and reassess. Most structures (homes) burn down after the fire passes, outbuildings will burn as the fire front passes – which is why being FireWise pays off. (Most outbuilding do not have doors [embers can get inside] or are not well kept up. Fire gets drawn into a building that has easy avenues for air movement. Tall grasses, weeds, trees and shrubs against structures create pockets of fuel that can be dangerous.)
Sonoita-Elgin Fire District is asking all property owners – homeowners and ranchers – to continue to FireWise their properties – this is not simply protecting your land and structures, it is helping your neighbors. We are a ranching community and these folks make their living with the grassland we all enjoy. The ranchers cooperation is as vital to help prepare their lands around areas were grasslands could be a threat to other structures.

Heroes Wanted

Disaster Preparedness at Your Fingertips

Take the first step toward emergency preparedness by downloading the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) app.

Did you know your smartphone can be an important tool to help you prepare?

Many people use mobile applications (apps) to receive updates on severe weather, help them plan for emergencies, and stay informed of community activities.

The Disaster Information Management Research Center compiled apps from various organizations to help you find appropriate and trustworthy applications including those from FEMA and the American Red Cross. These apps cover the following areas:

  • Family Reunification
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Having preparedness information and planning tools literally at your fingertips is an easy way to take action now!