Firewise in Bisbee is off to a great start. On Friday and Saturday there was a gathering of about 40 people to learn about fire behavior in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI).
Mayra Moreno from Arizona Dept of Forestry and Fire Management and her colleague, Dea, were on hand for classroom discussion, video presentation and lots of group discussion about how this applies to the unique landscape of Bisbee.
Fuel - Oxygen - Heat: With its tall canyons, lots of grass, Sotillo’s and juniper/oak, there is plenty of fuel. Add to the mix, the seasonal extreme dryness and heat, fires are probable in April/May.
It’s About the Embers: The ember storm in Paradise, California shot embers as big as 2x4’s, although it’s likely to be lots of small embers. Science has shown that houses are survivable from large fires up to 100’ from the main fire, as long as the embers don’t catch leaves, firewood, and dead grass on fire next to the home.
Property Will Survive: Firewise is about home owners doing the basic work that nature would already do during wildland fires - removing dead vegetation, cut the grasses and cleaning gutters and pine needles from the base of the house. These are the things that catch on fire during an ember storm. 87% of homes maintained will survive a fire if basic maintenance is performed.
Houses are Fuel: They can become one large wood pile of fuel for the fire, so keeping one structure from burning will slow the spread of the fire.
People Make the Difference: Communities that engage with Firewise have a real chance to help each other understand the risks that we face.