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With the wonderful winter rains we are having this year, we can expect a great wildflower bloom this spring. Unfortunately, these rains will also increase our fuel load and wildfire risk along with it. With that said I am repeating our message from a year ago. Stay safe out there and be firewise. 

Our Southern Arizona grass fires tend to be very hot and fast burning. The easiest way to beat these fires, is to create a fire break in front of the fire. A fire break is a clear space where there is no grass (or very short grass) or brush to burn, this deprives the fire of fuel, reduces flame length and slows the growth of the fire. 

Fire Marshal Charlotte Herdliska has listed a few things to watch out for: Low hanging branches- trim your trees so you have a 4-5 foot clearance from the ground. Debris in your rain gutters. One small ember can ignite leaf litter in your gutters. Do not stack firewood next to a building. One small ember can ignite the stack. Keep your roof clean of debris. Flat roofs can have wind-blown debris in the corners. Have an evacuation plan, review your route out! Talk to your neighbors. 

Please contact your local fire department for information on Firewise Communities and a free Firewise property survey. 

Corona de Tucson Fire: Fire Marshal Charlotte Herdliska: 520-762-9370 or the Rincon Valley Fire Department: Travis Mooney Rincon Valley Fire Department (520) 647-3760  

Also, smoke alarms with non-replaceable (long-life) batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away. For smoke alarms that do not have non-replaceable (long-life) batteries, replace batteries at least once a year. If the alarm chirps, replace only the battery. (Reproduced with permission of the National Fire Protection Association.) 

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