April 3, 2017
Spring Time Yard Cleanup: Warm sunny days are drying things out quickly. Many of us are feeling the urge to get out in the yard and start those spring time cleanup chores. Trimming trees that are still dormant, cleaning up downed tree branches from winter storms, cleaning up fallen pine needles, etc. The brush pits that are scattered around northern Gila County will be opening this month. There are two pits located nearby our communities that are open to the public to receive this material. The Pine Pit, located on the Control road approximately ¾ mile east of Hwy 87 near Pine. The second is the Chase Pit located approximately 2 miles north of the Control Road on FS32, going toward Washington Park. The Pine Pit is generally open every weekend (weather permitting) and the Chase Pit is open the second Saturday and fourth Sunday of April thru October (weather permitting).
If you decide to burn your biomass material it is important to contact the Whispering Pines Fire District administrative offices at 928-474-3088 to get a burn permit from the FD. If requested by the property owner, the Fire District will send someone out to the location of the proposed burn to inspect the area to see if it is safe to perform the activity. Please try to request your burn permit as early as possible in advance of your planned burning to ensure the FD is aware and to find out if there are any restrictions in effect. Another important safety concern is to ensure weather conditions, such as the wind, are taken into consideration. It may be perfectly calm in Whispering Pines, but in Bonita Creek the winds may be blowing 15-20 mph, not very conducive to doing any sort of outdoor burning. Also remember that even if you have a burn permit, you are ultimately responsible for the safety of the event. If the fire gets away from you and burns onto someone’s property or burns into the forest, you can be held responsible for any and all of the costs to extinguish the fire as well as the cost of any property that is destroyed by the fire.
There are currently no restrictions to open fires in the forest or in the unincorporated parts of Gila County. However if the current drying trend continues without any significant precipitation, it would not take very long for the forest to dry to the point of having Fire Restrictions issued by the Forest Service. We all need to remember that if that were to happen, the No Open Burning Ordinance of Gila County goes into effect whenever the Forest Service issues restrictions, so there is no open burning allowed on private property in the unincorporated parts of Gila County.
Have a safe spring cleaning season and don’t forget to call for your Burn Permits if you need one.
Thank you for your continued support.
Ron Sattelmaier – Fire Chief
Whispering Pines Fire District
- Campfire and smoking restrictions will be implemented at No DATE set, on the Coconino, Kaibab, Prescott and Tonto National Forests in order to protect public health and reduce preventable human-caused fires. On the Kaibab National Forest, restrictions will apply only to the Williams and Tusayan Ranger districts. Fire restrictions will not yet be implemented on the North Kaibab Ranger District due to different weather and fuels conditions.
- Under the restrictions, fires, campfires, charcoal, coal and wood stoves are allowed in developed campground only. The restrictions also limit smoking to within enclosed vechicles or buildings or in developed campgrounds. Using a device that is solely fueled by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off is allowed in areas that are clear of flammable materials. Fireworks are always prohibited on all national forest lands.
- On the Prescott National Forest, campfires are not allowed at the designated dispersed sites within the Prescott Basin. Metal posts identify designated dispersal sites with a number.
- Implementation of fire restrictions is especially important this year given the dry winter and impacts of long-term drought on forests. Criteria used to determine when to implement fire restrictions include current and predicted weather, fuel moisture, fire activity levels and available firefighting resources. Fire restrictions will remain in effect until the forests receive significant precipitation.
- “We are seeing conditions on the forests that warrant going into fire restrictions earlier than usual,” said Coconino National Forest Supervisor Earl Stewart. “We could have a long fire season ahead of us, and we need members of the public to work with us to prevent human-caused starts.”
- BEFORE YOU GO! The public can obtain additional fire information via the following:
- Arizona Fire Restrictions http://firerestrictions.us/az/
- Arizona Fire Prevention & Information (fire restrictions & red flag alerts)http://wildlandfire.az.gov/
- Fire Restrictions on Public Lands in Arizona and New Mexico call 1-877-864-6985
- Coconino National Forest http://www.fs.usda.gov/coconino
- Kaibab National Forest http://www.fs.usda.gov/kaibab
- Prescott National Forest http://www.fs.usda.gov/prescott
- Tonto National Forest http://www.fs.usda.gov/tonto