CURRENT NEWS . . .
Arizona wildfires: A look back–
Special timeline article in AZstarnet today on some of the largest, most destructive or otherwise notable wildfires in recent Arizona history. Click HERE to check it out.
Proposed Operations Budget for fiscal year 2013/2014 – The Oracle Fire Board had three objectives when proposing the new budget: no tax rate increase,
no reduction in staffing and no cuts in service.
All objectives have been met. A Public Meeting was held on May 6th for public comment regarding the proposed budget. A Budget Hearing has been scheduled for 6pm on June 17th at the fire station for the Fire Board to discuss and adopt the proposed budget. Click HERE if you wish to view the proposed budget.
KID's VISIT OFD – On Monday, May 6, 2013 a kindergarten class from Oracle Ridge School visited the fire station. The 48 children were given a tour of the fire station, sat in a fire engine, watched a fireman spray water and put on his protective clothing.
WEATHER SPOTTER TRAINING AT OFD – On Monday, April 22, Ken Drozd from the National Weather Service (NWS) was on hand to teach a free class on becoming an official weather spotter for our area. Weather Spotters are critical on-the-ground volunteers that identify and report severe weather conditions to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (N.O.A.A).
The class was sponsored by N.O.A.A. Storm spotters provide invaluable information to meteorologists by reporting severe weather conditions such as tornadoes, high winds and hail size which supplements data that can be used when issuing official severe weather warnings.
Upon completion of the scheduled training, spotters are assigned an ID number to use when submitting reports by phone, ham radio or internet. Spotters support the mission of N.O.A.A. of climate monitoring and protecting life and property through accurate weather forecasts and warnings.
ARIZONA DUST STORMS – Most of the thick dust that blanketed Pima County three weeks ago with record-setting particle pollution probably traveled at least 300 miles from the Imperial Valley area of farm fields and deserts west of El Centro, Calif., a University of Arizona researcher says. Click HERE to look through the gallery from AZStarnet to view some of Arizona's past dust storms.
WILDLAND DRILL IN ORACLE – MARCH 26, 2013 . . .
OFD and Oracle CERTs hosted a statewide wildland fire training event. Firefighters and engines from around the state arrived early to 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 Skills 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 have gotten to know our area along with the types of fuels, topography, resources, staging areas etc.
Forecast for Arizona's fire season, monsoon a tough call this year:
Forecasters: No clear weather pattern to say what monsoon will do
Forest fire experts usually base part of their annual fire outlook on whether the dominant weather pattern is the so-called El Niño or the opposite La Niña. This year: "We're calling it 'La Nada,' " Spanish for "nothing."That's because weather forecasters see no strong pattern of either El Niño or La Niña - terms that reflect whether sea-surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean are warmer or cooler than normal."So we don't know what we're getting in terms of the monsoon this year - the timing or how strong it will be."
"The uncertainty of the monsoon – along with other factors–- results in an unpredictable fire outlook. That means we try to prepare for anything. Invasive grasses such as buffelgrass are an increasing problem. The invasives have changed the game for us – increasing the risk of fast-spreading fires. Summer temperatures also play a role in fire predictions and management. The temperature outlook leans toward hotter-than-normal temperatures for the July, August and September period.
Brush Site – Signs are now posted directed at illegal dumpers that have been using our Brush Disposal Site for items not allowed. Please help us keep this site as it should be.
The Site is open to residents of Oracle only. Items gladly accepted are: tree trimmings and brush. Items NOT accepted are cactus, garbage, lumber, stumps, paper, plastics, metal, fluids and site cleaning material.
We now have an Oracle Fire District Board – They were sworn in on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012. Click HERE to see more details.
• 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.