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Sonoita-Elgin Fire District

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Scheduled FY2017-2018 Board Meetings:

February. 26, 2018 • March 26, 2018 • April 23, 2018 • May 21, 2018 • June 25, 2018

FEB 12, 2018 AGENDA – CLICK HERE

FACEBOOK FEED

Update....

Box Fire.... thanks to the concerted efforts of Federal, State and Local entities the forward movement of the Box Fire has been stopped.... 🙂
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Beneath the Ashes

Author: Jessica Stapf (FEMA Website)

What lies beneath the ashes of any wildfire-torn community? Stories. The stories of heirlooms destroyed. Families lost and displaced. The sadness and hopelessness we all would expect when everything is lost. When black soot is all you can see and smell, with the remnants of what once was a kitchen crumbling beneath your sneakers. What else lies beneath those ashes? Hope. Resilience. Community pride.

Over the course of the last year, many communities have been faced with the ashes and destruction left behind by savage wildfires. But, in the face of these adversities, communities have come together, rallying behind each other to overcome.

Fires burned nearly ten million acres across the United States in the most active fire season since 2015.1 What was different about the fires this year is the widespread impact and sheer number of fires, over 66,000 across the country1. In California alone, more than 1.2 million acres burned2—more than twice the number in 2016.3

While many across the country turned their eyes to hurricanes, these fires blazed across both residential neighborhoods and protected federal lands. Businesses, drivers of recovery and vital to communities, burned—taking with them jobs, opportunities, and products that communities need. Wildfires have no preference — they take what they want with reckless abandon.

With the strength of these fires, we awarded states 62 Fire Management Assistance Grants over the course of the year, which are designed to help supplement costs of manpower, equipment, overtime, and supplies like food and water for the teams on the front lines. These teams worked long hours, potentially even losing their own homes to the fires they were fighting. (These men and women have our undying gratitude for the work they do.)

Many of these fires were devastating, including the Thomas Fire in California, which burned over 280,000 acres of land across southern portions of the state.4

Weather conditions like heat, the strong Santa Ana winds, and a lack of significant rainfall over long periods of time can dry out the terrain, including trees, leaves, and grass, forming a perfect storm of conditions for a massive wildfire.

And as a Ventura County firefighter recounted to the Los Angeles Times, “We’ve been firefighters for decades and have never seen anything like this.”5

This year (2017), in terms of wildfires, was incredibly difficult for first responders and most especially for those in the fires’ path. What is remarkable aside from all the damage, destruction, and devastation, is the support. Communities pulling together and helping each other. The generosity and kindness of strangers and volunteers giving countless hours to support communities that may or may not be their own.

And, most of all, the resilience of disaster survivors -- for them to be able to work together through some of their darkest days to rebuild and recover. To come back stronger than ever. That is the takeaway from this year -- the sheer determination and strength beneath the ashes.
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Fire Report .... FYI....

A fire has been reported for Maderia Canyon (west side of the Santa Rita Mountains) - Green Valley,Tubac and Rio Rico Fire Districts and the state are responding as I type... No other information is available. It is possible that at some point today you may see smoke.
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WOW....! Awesome turnout for the SEFD Breakfast in the Bay.... thank you for your support! 🙂

We've a new business in town... Welcome!
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Smoke Report.....

FYI.... There was a small fire in Gardner Canyon last night that was put out, however there is a fire in the area of Tubac that is still burning - the drift smoke you will see to the northwest is from that fire. 🙂
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Fire/EMS Stats

2017

MVC 35
Medical 365
Wildfire 94
Structure Fire 12
Vehicle Fire 9
Public Assist 82
Burn Permit 38
Hazmat 2
TOTAL 637

Fire Weather

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I want to find the weather for in .

(Click “•••” above for 7-Day Forecast)

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
  • American Red Cross Suite of Apps
  • Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Hazardous Substances
  • Medical and Health Information
  • Responder Support and Safety including field operations guides
  • Psychological Health Tools for staying emotionally healthy
  • U.S. Federal Agencies
  • Surveillance and Alerts such as disease outbreaks and severe weather warnings

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

SONOITA-ELGIN FIRE DISTRICT

3173 AZ-83
Sonoita, AZ 85637
(520) 455-5854
sefd911@sefd911.org

(Click Here for Directions)