Ready or not, fire season in Arizona is already in full swing. Those who work in agriculture, especially our ranchers, know all too well the devastation that a fire can bring with it. Not only that, they’ve also felt the frustration of not knowing who to call or where to look for up-to-date information about the plan for fire response once an incident breaks out.
Leaders of the Arizona Farm Bureau and the Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association recently met with representatives from Forest Service, BLM, State Land, and the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management to discuss the best ways to communicate with on-the-ground response teams during a fire-related incident. Here are some helpful tips that might just help make fire season a little less frustrating:
- Know your range cons. The firefighter on the ground isn’t the best person to ask for information about a fire response plan. Instead, whether you’re working on Forest Service, BLM, or State Land, your Range Con will be the person with the most complete knowledge. During any fire incident, permittees should maintain frequent communication with their range cons. (Don’t know who your range con is? Now is the time to make that introduction!)
- Know the lay of the land. Being able to provide the response teams with up-to-date information about the location of livestock, range improvements, topography, management history, and alternate access points will help direct the response team’s decisions and strategies. There’s some valuable information that only you know!
- Know who to call. If you’re still not sure who to call to get information about a fire, the Arizona Interagency Dispatch Center is here to answer your questions 24-7. Call 800-309-7081 any time.
Our members recognize and appreciate the outstanding work our management agencies have done to help control wildfires. And we’re thankful that our management agencies recognize the need and value of involving the land users in their fire suppression efforts. Working together, we can help make fires work as management tools, not natural disasters.
For more information or to contact the agency field office nearest you, visit these helpful websites:
- Fire Incident Information System: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/
- Forest Service: www.fs.fed.us
- BLM: https://www.blm.gov/arizona
- State Land Department: https://land.az.gov/
- State Forestry and Fire Management: https://dffm.az.gov/