CURRENT NEWS . . .
NEW ASSISTANT FIRE CHIEF – Robert Jennings has been promoted to the position of Assistant Fire Chief.
The official announcement was made during the April 1st Fire Board meeting when Chief Southard presented Robert with his badge and congratulated him on his promotion.
Robert joined the fire department as a Junior Firefighter when he was a young teenager. Through many years of dedicated involvement, hard work and many classes, Robert has worked his way up through the ranks from an entry-level firefighter, to Lieutenant, Captain, Battalion Chief and now Assistant Fire Chief.
Chief Southard commends Robert for his many years with the department and is looking forward to working with him in the years to come.
WILDLAND FIREFIRE TRAINING – On Wed, March 19th, there was plenty of Wildland Firefighter crews from all over Arizona here in Oracle. OFD and Oracle CERTs hosted a statewide wildland fire training event. Here's a few shots.
Firefighters and engines from around the state arrived early at the staging area at Village Square. After an Incident Command briefing, four teams dispersed to pre-selected locations throughout Oracle. Each hour the teams rotated to other Skill Stations until they completed all training events.
This is a very important event for our community, because it not only helps our firefighters further their wildland training and education, but the same out-of-area firefighters participating in this event, would be those responding to our community during a major wildfire. Hopefully we will never need the services of these other agencies, but if we do, it will be beneficial for them to know our area along with the types of fuels, topography, resources, staging areas etc.
NATIONAL FIREWISE DAY! Many took advantage of the free Brush Dump day on March 22nd to honor National Firewise Day. But let's not stop! It will get hot soon enough and we need to continue our firewise efforts. Thanks to all of you that brought your brush!
RED FLAG WARNING DAY – Note that the Oracle Firewise Board along with Oracle Fire Dept has installed a NEW flag pole at the station just for flying this red flag when conditions are in place. We have had several Red Flag Warning days lately also known as a Fire Weather Warning. It is a forecast warning issued by the US National Weather Service to inform area firefighting and land management agencies that conditions are ideal for wildland fire ignition, and rapid propagation. After drought conditions, and when humidity is very low, and especially when high or erratic winds which may include lightning are a factor, the Red Flag Warning becomes a critical statement for firefighting agencies. These agencies often alter their staffing and equipment resources dramatically to accommodate the forecast risk. To the public, a Red Flag Warning means high fire danger with increased probability of a quickly spreading vegetation fire in the area within 24 hours.
ORACLE BURN PERMITS – Burn permits for the Oracle area are suspended effective 3/1/14 until further notice.
NW Fire to disband Hot Shot Crew – read more HERE.
The answer to forest-destroying fires is more fire, researchers say – click HERE to read the article from azstarnet.
Fire danger in Oracle has officials pushing for better protection for homes. An article on azstarnet features ORACLE photos in their news. Click HERE or on the photo below to see the gallery.
Oracle Fire Chief Larry Southard has 1,700 homes to protect in his 33 square-mile district. And with continuing dry conditions and three unusually early brush fires battled this year, he is pushing hard to widen buffer zones from 30 feet to 100 feet between the oak/ manzanita forest and homes at risk. These properties in Oracle have been cleared to a point where they are less likely to be fire hazards.
Photos by Ron Medvescek / Arizona Daily Star (Feb. 18, 2014).
ORACLE TINDERBOX – Keeping one eye open! Another EXTENSIVE article on azstarnet has more details on the fire status here. In Oracle tinderbox, fire boss sleeps "with one eye open." Click HERE to read more.
Congratulations to Nancy Patten for winning the 2013 Firewise Private Property award. She is shown here with Fire Chief Larry Southard and Firewise Board Cochair Rachel Opinsky receiving her award.
Congratulations to BRENT FROST, our 2013 Firefighter of the Year. He is shown here receiving his award with Fire Chief Larry Southard at the Annual Elks Dinner on Jan. 25, 2014.
Fire in Oracle (01-06-14) – Winds and cold greeted the firefighters at a late morning fire on Grant Road on Jan 6th. They were able to control the fire so it did not venture into the huge brush area adjacent to the property. However, the trailer was lost. Noone was home at the time.
SIGN UP FOR THE NEW ORACLE EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION SYSTEM – Oracle Fire and the Firewise Board are pleased to announce the use of a new phone system that is the best and fastest way
to get emergency information out to our community.
This new system has been funded by the Oracle FIREWISE Board and unlike our older system, it will deliver hundreds
of emergency notifications at once to all phone numbers that are participating in the system. Click HERE to go to the "Getting Added" form to fill out.
sure to get your additional numbers in the system by filling out this form and returning it to
Oracle Fire Dept.
THANK YOU FOR ATTENDING THE ORACLE WILDFIRE FORUM in
October at Oracle Community Center. Speakers were on hand to inform
Oracle about Oracle's Wildfire Facts and
• CORONADO NATIONAL FOREST / ARIZONA STATE FORESTER’s Office / PINAL COUNTY SHERIFF’s Office.
PROPERTY EVALUATION MAPS – NEW property evaluations by members of the Fire Dept. and the Firewise board have been conducted. Final results are not posted yet, but we will inform you when they are. In the meantime, if you would like to see the present map to see how your property was doing in 2009, click HERE to go DIRECTLY to that page.
A Wildland Firefighter Team conducting a training burnout near Rancho Robles in October 2013.
Explorer Duty – Oracle Fire Explorers assisting with extinguishing a brush burn at the Oracle Firewise Brush Dump in October 2013.
• Follow National Firewise Communities recommendations for making your home and property safer from wildfire. You can find lots of information on their website by clicking HERE.
READY, SET, GO PLAN – This personal Wildfire Action Plan is invaluable for providing a lot of helpful tips on protecting your home and your family from wildfire and it also includes good checklists. Click HERE to read the pdf.
It's that time of year when we all need to be on extreme alert for smoke and fire. Please call 911 at the first sighting, and please check out this document.