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Sat, Aug. 17

Friday Catchall: Not to drone on, non-fire works and mining

Hundreds of people attend the annual Fourth of July Celebration at the Prescott Mile High Middle School athletic field Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Les Stukenberg/Courier)

Hundreds of people attend the annual Fourth of July Celebration at the Prescott Mile High Middle School athletic field Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Les Stukenberg/Courier)

The Friday Catchall:

• NON-FIRE WORKS – Sigh, another bullet dodged.

The Fourth of July in northern Arizona was without fireworks, with Prescott Valley and Chino Valley making it unanimous earlier this week.

From all of the reports I have received, it was OK. Residents and visitors enjoyed themselves for the Fourth anyway or went to the concrete jungle of Phoenix to experience the rockets’ red glare.

That is, except in Carefree — where a resort hosted a drone show, like that of the Winter Olympics. In fact, according to published reports, about a dozen communities across the United States did the same thing.

Sounds to me like an accident waiting to happen, but it was not pyrotechnical or capable of causing a wildland fire.

Along those lines, the Central Arizona Fire and Medical Authority issued a “huge thank you” Thursday for a safe and uneventful Fourth of July. “From our staff and our firefighters, thank you for heeding the warnings and helping to ensure the safety of our community. Your efforts not only protected you, your families and your neighbors but also protected our response personnel,” Fire Chief Scott Freitag and Fire Marshal Rick Chase wrote.

Gazing at the skies and the buildup of clouds Thursday afternoon it seemed they are right: “Monsoons are on the way, but it will take a lot of rain to get us out of the current drought conditions,” they said, giving a nod to the truth. “Everything is at an all-time dry and just a small spark can start a fire. Please continue to stay aware and adhere to Stage 2 fire restrictions.”

Remember, this September-to-June period (and now longer) is the driest on record since the National Weather Service began keeping records in the late 1800s.

And, yes, remember that any type of firework is prohibited, and that includes sparklers and novelty fireworks, they said, adding that “smoking is only allowed in vehicles, residential yards and designated smoking areas. Only natural gas and propane barbecues with an on/off knob are allowed; anything that releases an ash or ember is prohibited.

“It truly is up to you to help us prevent wildfires.”

Considering all of the fires raging right now, in places such as Colorado and California, we’re lucky the Arizona experience is currently fairly tame; presently shows only two in Arizona — one (Cumero) south of Tucson at the border (200 acres), and another (the Salto Fire) east of Tucson (60 acres), as of press time.

Keep up the diligence, folks.

• MINING – The proposed mining operation for the Kirkland area (west of Prescott) has entered the comment phase, and a final (is there such a thing?) meeting is set for 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 11, at the Kirkland Community Center, 14200 W. Kirkland-Hillside Road.

At issue is the mining of pozzolan (think: kitty litter) and not all of the residents and community leaders are convinced of the risk.

Any time something is to be dug out of the ground and trucked through our communities, caution should be the order of the day.

Get your two cents in by going to the meeting, or sending comments to Geologist Shelby Cave at the BLM Hassayampa Field Office, 21605 N. 7th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85027, faxing 623-580-5580, or emailing

• QUOTE – Couldn’t help but offer these two: “Give me liberty or give me death,” by Patrick Henry, and this one: “If I have to lay an egg for my country, I’ll do it.” And that one was from Bob Hope.

• PICK OF THE WEEK – (Proving there’s always something good to do in the Prescott area that’s cheap or free): It is great to hear that Paul Manz will be back at the rostrum Sunday to lead the Prescott POPS, which will present a program of “The Force Returns” for the first performance of the season; at 3 p.m., in the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center, 1100 E. Sheldon St. 928-776-2000, or

Tim Wiederaenders is the senior news editor for The Daily Courier and Prescott Newspapers, Inc. Follow him on Twitter @TWieds_editor. Reach him at 928-445-3333, ext. 2032, or


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