On Wednesday March 7, 2018, Russ Shumate, Northwest District Manager of the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management (ADFFM) presented to the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors regarding the Arizona Wildfire and Incident Management Academy, fuels treatment and the upcoming wildfire season.
Mr. Shumate said, “The Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management has been around, in one form or another, since 1966. Our vision is, an Arizona with safe people and communities and healthy, vibrant environment where natural resources are managed for multiple benefits.”
ADFFM provides resources for the prevention and suppression of wildland fire on State Trust land and private property located outside incorporated communities. The agency provides services for fire prevention, urban and community forestry, forest stewardship, forest health, utilization and marketing, and has a wide variety of grants available. The ADFFM fire suppression efforts support aviation resources, firefighter training, dispatch of personnel and equipment, and business management information.
ADFFM fire prevention efforts include granting funds to communities to reduce the hazardous fuels in and around the communities as well as on state lands. The Utilization and Marketing program offers communities, contractors and companies assistance in starting, improving or expanding their operations to provide markets for the vast hazardous fuel reduction and forest restoration efforts that are needed within the state.
Yavapai County Board of Supervisor Chairman Rowle Simmons said, “The most amazing example of inter-agency cooperation I have seen was during the Indian Fire. Never in all my years have I witnessed such cooperation. Every single agency worked together toward one goal of getting that fire out.”
Yavapai County Board of Supervisor Jack Smith said, “We love our Firefighters and the work they do and I have some major concerns this year, with the dry winter we have had, and the reports we are getting about the fuel levels. This is looking like a perfect storm and I would like to see us focusing attention on the Walker, Breezy Pines and Potato Patch areas because of the potential for loss of life and the millions of dollars in homes we have in that area.”
Yavapai County Board of Supervisor Craig Brown said, “Russ, I want to say, working with you has been a great experience, and we have accomplished a lot over the past several years. Pinion Oaks is a perfect example of a community on state land, inside the county and also in the City of Prescott. This shows that it doesn’t matter where you live, we are bringing the assets and resources together to accomplish Fire Wise Communities.”
Russ replied with, “This is my home and I have a lot invested in protecting my home and my family. I really enjoy the work I do and am proud to be a part of such a great organization.”
Supervisor Brown added, “If you are not already signed up with Code Red you should go online and do that today.” Code Red is managed by the Yavapai County Sheriff’s office and more information can be found at www.YCSOAZ.gov