As the desert foothills community has come together to assist our neighbors in the aftermath of the recent devastating wildfires, lets continue to work together to mitigate the potential consequences of future wildfires on our communities, neighborhoods and homes. These wildfires know no superficial boundary such as a property line, a subdivision or a community’s jurisdictional line. They have and will quickly spread as a result of our hot summer days, extremely low relative humidity, the above average dry fuel loads resulting from our winter rains and the swirling winds in part created by the rolling topography within the desert foothills area. These factors directly contribute to the rapid spread and unpredictable nature of these explosive and damaging wildfires fires. However, there is one thing we can all do to help minimize their rapid spread and the associated damage, that is to remove from our properties the nonnative dry weeds and grasses that result from the seasonal winter rains. Removing these fuels helps to mitigate the rapid spread of these wildfires and further protect our neighborhoods and homes.
When a fire does break out, it is also critical that we work together to prepare to evacuate. The County’s Ready, Set, Go emergency notification system is a perfect way to familiarize yourself with evacuation preparedness and received updates on the state of evacuation. Please visit the Maricopa County’s Emergency Notification website to sign up for these alerts at: https://maricoparegion911.onthealert.com/Terms
Finally, let’s consider that it may take time to reenter areas damaged by wildfires. This delay is to ensure first responders can ensure these areas are safe to reenter. Even when it appears the fire is extinguished, it could be smoldering below the surface. As a result, a brief wind could create sparking and caused compromised propane tanks to explode. Additional hazards such as solar energy systems or generators could be feeding energy to compromised electrical lines and/or compromised structures could be subject to collapse. Obviously, due to these unknown hazards, the first responders must investigate and mitigate these potential hazards prior to reopening these fire ravaged areas.
Thank you to all the first responders and residents of the desert foothills area who are working to mitigate these hazards and protecting our lives and properties.
Michael Krahe & Stephen Hatcher