Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Mon, May 20

BCC Fire stops burn permits for season

The Black Canyon Fire Department (BCFD) ceased issuing private burn permits last week as dry conditions raise local wildfire danger.

BCFD Chief Tom Birch said the fire danger is rising as the desert area dries out.

"Anytime the fire index reaches the 'High' mark, burn permits are shut off," he said. "It's tinder dry out there already and it's going to get worse."

Birch said the grass resulting from the spring rains is now drying out and provides an ideal fuel for a brush fire.

Birch said the department has already had its first call this season.

"We've already had one small brush fire in town, in a very vulenerable area. Thank god we had two very alert citizens who ran and put it out before we got here," he said. "Too bad they took off before I got their names."

Birch said it's critical for residents to clear a 30-foot defensible space around their homes to protect their property.

"That's one good way to reduce the risk," he said. "If they keep that area clear, they have a much greater chance their house will not burn."

Birch also suggested people move away from the house any flammables, such as construction materials and firewood.

He said the Bureau of Land Management and BCFD are planning a brush collection event in the very near future.

"They are going to bring up a chipper and we will dispose of the brush for people," he said. "They just have to get it here."

Birch said he will announce the details of the collection day as soon as they are confirmed.

Birch also said there have been several incidents of people using fireworks recently; they are not only illegal, they are a prime source of ignition for wildfires.

"That's just insane," he said. "They have to understand that they put the community at great risk with that stuff."

Birch said the department is expecting it's new brush truck, due in early July, to give them a big boost in their ability to fight wildfire and bring in revenue to the district.

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