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Can you survive a wildfire?

PAWUIC’S motto “Living on the Edge”, has two meanings: living on the edge of Arizona’s wildlands with all of their attendant grace and beauty, but also living with the danger of wildfire.

PAWUIC, founded in 1990, is unique in the nation as a not-for-profit group chartered by the City of Prescott and Yavapai County. PAWUIC is comprised of federal, state, county and city agency representatives working together with volunteers, businesses, and community leaders. PAWUIC’s purpose is to mitigate the threat of wildfire and to promote forest health in the greater Prescott area, and Yavapai County- an area larger than the State of Massachusetts.  Members from Prescott National Forest, Bureau of Land Management, Arizona State Forestry, Prescott Yavapai Tribe, Yavapai County Office of Emergency Management, Central Arizona Fire and Medical Authority, Prescott Fire Department, eleven other fire departments, homeowner associations and private citizens meet monthly to report and coordinate their activities to reduce the wildfire danger in the area.

PAWUIC works not just in fire season, but throughout the year to reduce the chance of a wildfire and to reduce the damage it would cause when it strikes our community. By cooperating together since 1990, PAWUIC has brought more than $6,000,000 into our community. 

PAWUIC provides:

  • Information and education on how to reduce wildland fire danger by means of an annual EXPO, meetings, training, newspaper articles, helping local communities gain Firewise® community certification, and maintaining its regional information web site.
  • A source of grant funding for area fire department efforts to reduce fuels and mitigate other fire dangers.
  • Training scholarships for area firefighters at the Arizona Wildfire Academy.
  • Supporting efforts for economically and environmentally sound ways to utilize the biomass generated from fuels reduction and forest health projects.
  • A most important monthly forum for sharing ideas and coordinating efforts among the involved agencies. Time:  8:00 AM on the 1st Thurs. of each month in the Freeman Building at the Prescott Rodeo Grounds, 840 Rodeo Dr.  The public is always welcome to attend.  Becoming a volunteer is a rewarding experience.

Commission News

Free Workshop Underscores Power of Embers

Join NFPA (National Fire Prevention Association) on July 27 for the first of five new wildfire virtual workshops. Get the latest research and learn how embers impact different parts of the home including decks, mulch, wooden fences and more. Register today.

Hour-long workshops designed to connect wild land fire stakeholders with subject matter experts.

The Firewise virtual workshop series provides conference quality, free learning opportunities for wildfire stakeholders by connecting them with leading researchers and practitioners in a live interactive format.

You can register for these workshop here or join other members of PAWUIC at the U of A Extension Office Conference Room at 840 Rodeo Drive, Bldg C in Prescott. July and August workshops start at noon see the calendar below for following months.

Power of Embers, Wednesday, July 27, 3 pm EDT (12:00 pm MST)

by Steve Quarles, PH.D., IBHS Research Center

Learn about the impacts embers are capable of and the little things around the home that are vulnerable. Quarles will share some information on why and how IBHS is doing wildfire ember research at the lab in South Carolina.

2016 calendar

  • Tuesday, August 16 - Home Ignition Zone, 3 pm EDT (noon MST)
  • Thursday, September 15 - Understanding Insurance in the Wildland Urban Interface, 2 pm EDT (11 am MST)  
  • Tuesday, October 11 - Community Risk Reduction Success Stories, 1 pm EDT (10 am MST)  
  • Wednesday, November 9 - Wildland Urban Legends, 3 pm EST (1 pm MST)

USAA Adds Oregon to Homeowners Insurance Discount

Oregon now joins Arizona, California, Colorado and Texas in being one of five states where USAA policyholders living in a recognized Firewise Communities/USA site, are eligible to receive a discount on their homeowners insurance premium.

There are currently 102 communities actively participating in the Firewise Communities/USA recognition program throughout Oregon; with more than 26,000 people living in those sites. Over the past year, those communities have invested close to $1,706,000 in wildfire risk reduction activities. More information.


Get Wildfire Alerts on Your Cell Phone

Two awesome Forest Service fellas by the names of Reggie Goolsby and Ben Butler working for the Wildland Fire Management Research, Development and Application (http://www.wfmrda.nwcg.gov) have created a web-based application WildFiresNearMe and here is what it can do.  Pick one or more locations, select both the diameter of the monitoring area around the location and how many acres involved AND the application will notify you by email or text when a new fire is reported.

The information is consolidated from the Integrated Reporting of Wildland-Fire Information System (IRWIN) which is the dispatch hub for national wildfire reporting.  Additionally the application continuously searches Twitter Fire, GEOMac Fire Perimeter and InciWeb for wildfire information and updates.

If knowing when a fire is first reported in your area(s) of interest is not enough, it can also track fires that you define and provide you updated information as it occurs.

You must watch the 60-minute tutorial to fully appreciate the power of this tool.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEKETCY9r8A

Currently this is a beta test environment, so technical support may be pretty thin.  These guys are on the right track and you can look forward to it becoming an official .gov site in the future.  Be sure to send them feedback on your likes and improvements.  Spread the word!