Al Anderson and Anne Carl spent several years watching fires in Bisbee and actively wondering when a fire will break out on the land above their house.
Al called the State of Arizona Forestry Department, and within 24 hours all of them met in-person to create Old Bisbee Firewise (OBF).
At a well-attended community meeting at Central School, still more Bisbee folks energetically came together to discuss our future steps, and this energetic initial volunteer group continues to grow and take action. We’ve designated manageable neighborhood precincts; appointed captains for those precincts; continued outreach to our neighbors, providing additional free training; and lobbied local, state and federal leaders for support. Our efforts continue unabated. They include but are not limited to:
Getting even greater participation, all across Old Bisbee. If you still happen to be a hold-out, we are only asking that Old Bisbee residents each contribute by EITHER:
Doing at least one (1) hour of “sweat equity” PER YEAR on their own property, and letting us know that they’ve done this. “Sweat equity” projects can be relatively easy. They might include, e.g., cleaning out the gutter of dry/dead/easily flammable leaves, sweeping-up and disposing flammable pine needles, or effectively managing clutter in one’s yard, such as by moving a pile of firewood away from one’s home. By recording each resident’s risk reduction information and getting it back to us, we can leverage resident participation to more successfully lobby and secure grants that will help our Bisbee Fire Department and those individual residents who may need more help;
Spending at least $24 to hire someone else to perform that work; OR
Letting us know if they need OBF assistance due to age, disability and/or low-income.
Continuing our free educational efforts; and
Writing grants to assist Bisbee’s hardworking firefighters and the community as a whole, particularly Old Bisbee’s elderly and/or impoverished residents.
OBF’s main goal is to ensure, in general and specific ways, that we reduce our fire risks and become more resilient to fire. We can do this by sticking to an effective plan.
Fires will happen. The question is when and if we are prepared enough when they do. We in Old Bisbee face the same dry/warming climate trends and wildland-urban interface issues that the towns that completely burned recently in CA faced. We love our town and most (if not all) of our neighbors, so let’s work together. Let’s make sure that we can continue to live here together.
Anne and Al Anderson
Precinct Captains (with links to maps)
Additional Volunteers: Tom Oatman, Barry Briggs, Kate Bishop and Grady Meadows, Cheyenne MacMaasters, Ken Budge, Eliza Adams, Jan Searle, Anne and Al Anderson.