‘Burn season’ to start early due to warm weather

Copper Canyon Fire and Medical Authority (CCFMA) normally prohibits the activation of issued “burn permits” until March 1 every year, in order to prevent the accumulation of low lying smoke in the river and creek valleys of the area, which is caused by the cold-weather inversion common in these areas during the winter months.

Because this winter has been nothing like a “normal winter,” CCFMA will be opening up open burning early, on Feb. 9 at 7 a.m.

Open burning will be allowed with a valid burn permit and when conditions will allow for safe burning (low wind speeds).

Permits can be obtained during normal business hours by visiting the Administrative Offices at 26B Salt Mine Rd. in Camp Verde, or at the Camp Verde Fire Station at 494 S. Main St., and the Rimrock Fire Station at 3240 E. Beaver Creek Rd.

This change is being supported due to the unusually warm and dry weather we are experiencing this winter.

Given the current conditions, it makes sense to allow burning now, when the temperatures will allow the smoke to rise and then clear the area.

It also seems appropriate to allow burning now, as it is anticipated that without significant moisture before the even warmer weather sets in, burn bans will be put into effect earlier across Yavapai County and the Federal Forests.

Please burn responsibly during this critically dry period. Do not let a fire escape your control, and force the season to be stopped prematurely due to your inattention.

Fire and law enforcement agency leaders recently met to discuss the criticality of the current weather patterns and current drought which might result in a severe wildfire season this year.

With this in mind, everyone is being encouraged to be prepared for this possibility by following the tenants of “Ready, Set, Go”.

‘Ready’

Get “Ready” for this year’s fire season by preparing your home to better withstand the effects of a nearby wildfire.

Remove leaves and organic debris from the roof, gutters, and around the perimeter so that a fire-driven ember will not land on this material and ignite it imperiling your home.

Trim-up overgrown and decadent landscaping to reduce the potential that a low-level grass fire does not climb into the tree canopy and ignite outbuildings or your home.

Remove or relocate flammable materials or debris in your yard, such as piles of firewood, pallets, etc., to reduce the risk these materials also pose.

Be familiar with where to find up-to-date information, such as Copper Canyon Fire and Medical’s Facebook page.

Get ready also by evaluating whether your valuables, medicines, and important papers are handy so that they might be quickly retrieved in the event you are ordered to evacuate.

‘Set’

When a fire does occur near your home, this is the time to put your wildfire survival plan into action.

Get “Set” to think clearly and act decisively. Relocate combustible outdoor furnishings into the garage. Turn on the radio to ensure you are getting local news updates.

Gather up valuables, medicines, pet supplies, and important papers so that you will not be delayed if you are ordered to evacuate.

‘Go’

If law enforcement does issue an evacuation order and you have prepared by following the above measures, you should be able to promptly “Go” knowing you have done all your preparations in advance.

People often perish trying to escape the ravages of a wildfire, and your best defense is simply to leave early.

Trying to accomplish “Ready” and “Set” after the evacuation order has been given may well cost you your life. Be prepared so that when it is time to evacuate, just Go!

--Information provided by Copper Canyon ire and Medical Authority

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