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/USA® recognition,, 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

Understanding Fire Restrictions

There are two stages of Fire Restrictions followed by a closure of the defined area or forest to all public access.

STAGE 1 Fire Restrictions help land management agencies reduce fire risk and prevent wildfires during periods of high to extreme danger.


  • Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire. This includes charcoal barbecues and grills EXCEPT: Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire in constructed, permanent fire pits or fire grates within developed recreation sites and the use of portable stoves, lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum, pressurized liquid fuel or a fully enclosed (sheepherder type) stove with a ¼” spark arrester type screen is permitted.
  • Smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
  • Operating a chainsaw without a USDA or SAE approved spark arrester properly installed and in effective working order, a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher kept with the operator, and one round point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches readily available for use. 
  • Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame except in cleared areas of at least 10 feet in diameter and in possession of a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher.
  • Using an explosive.
  • STAGE 2 Fire Restrictions help land management agencies reduce fire risk and prevent wildfires during periods of high to extreme fire danger.


  • Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire. This includes charcoal grills and barbecues, coal and wood burning stoves and sheepherder’s stoves and includes use in developed camping and picnic grounds. EXCEPT: Devices using pressurized liquid or gas (stoves, grills or lanterns) that include shut-off valves are permitted when used in an area at least three feet or more from flammable material such as grasses or pine needles.
  • Smoking. EXCEPT: Within enclosed vehicle, trailer or building.
  • Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.
  • Operating or using any internal combustion engine (e.g. chainsaw, generator, ATV) without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order.
  • Operating a chainsaw without an approved spark arresting device, a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher (8 oz. capacity by weight or larger and kept with the operator) and a round point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches.
  • Using an explosive. This includes but is not limited to fuses or blasting caps, fireworks, rockets, exploding targets, and tracers or incendiary.
  • Possessing or using a motor vehicle off established roads, motorized trails or established parking areas, except when parking in an area devoid or vegetation within 10 feet of the vehicle. 

For current fire restrictions go to https://firerestrictions.us/az/

Prescott National Forest and Local Cooperators Enter Stage I Fire Restrictions June 1st, 2017

Prescott, AZ (May 30, 2017) –– The Prescott National Forest is entering into Stage I Fire Restrictions on June 1st at 08:00 a.m. The following prohibitions will be in effect for all Prescott National Forest lands (see above or https://www.fs.usda.gov/prescott and https://firerestrictions.us/az/)

In recent days, the Forest and adjacent lands have experienced dry and windy conditions along with an increase in fire activity including numerous abandoned campfires over the Memorial Day Holiday. 

Pete Gordon, Fuels, Fire, & Aviation Staff Officer for the Prescott National Forest says, “The dry condition of vegetation across much of the Central Highlands of Yavapai County, including the Prescott National Forest is climbing steadily above average, trending toward very high or extreme conditions. The winter and spring precipitation brought much needed relief from the drought, but with it an abundance of grasses. These grasses are now tall and curing, making them quickly available for fast moving wildfires. We see these restrictions as an opportunity to limit the wildfire occurrence at a time when we are likely to see fires become more difficult to control and at a time we’re likely to see competition for resources across the region.”

Gordon continued to say, “The decision to implement Stage I restrictions is made with our partners. The Prescott National Forest has worked closely with the Bureau of Land Management; Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management; Yavapai County Emergency Services; and all the municipal and volunteer fire departments in the Verde Valley, Prescott area, and others adjacent to the Forest. We’re proud of the relationships we have with the partners of the Forest. Just as we collaborate in training together; responding to wildfires together; and treating the hazardous fuels together; we also communicate frequently this time of year specifically to understand the conditions and coordinate the need for fire restrictions. ”

Neighboring community members as well as Forest visitors are encouraged to act responsibly and remain vigilant. Fires can be started by many activities taken for granted and are not just limited to careless campfires or a carelessly placed cigarette: pay attention to anything that creates heat or sparks such as dragging tow chains, welding a corral fence, or even mowing the grass where a hiding rock can cause a spark. Wildfires are often started on private land and move into public lands such as the Prescott National Forest. Fire managers and our Law Enforcement Officers remind all Forest visitors that the use of exploding targets; incendiary devices; and fireworks are always illegal on National Forests Lands.

Prescott National Forest Develop Recreation Sites:

Campfires are allowed in metal fire rings and metal pedestal grills provided by the Forest Service in the following developed recreation sites only:

Prescott National Forest – BRADSHAW RANGER DISTRICT

· Alto Pit OHV campground & day-use
· Yavapai campground
· Cayuse Equestrian TH day-use
· Wekuvde day-use
· Groom Creek Horse campground
· Hazlett Hollow campground
· Lower Wolf Creek campground
· Upper Wolf Creek group campground
· Hilltop Campground
· Lynx Lake campground
· Lynx Creek Ruin day-use
· Lynx Lake North Shore day-use
· Lynx Lake South Shore day-use
· Eagle Ridge Group campground
· Thumb Butte day-use (Group, Individual, & Ramada sites)
· Turney Gulch group campground
· Horsethief Cabin rental
· White Spar campground

Prescott National Forest – VERDE RANGER DISTRICT

Mingus Mountain campground
Playground group campground
Potato Patch campground
Powell Springs campground
Beasley Flat day-use
White Bridge day-use (Coconino NF)
Summit day-use
Copper Canyon trailhead
Sycamore Cabin rental

Complete Description of Fire Ban Zones

USAA Provides Policyholder Discounts in Seven States

The Departments of Insurance in seven states have approved filings by USAA to give homeowners insurance discounts to USAA members living in communities recognized by the Firewise/USA® Recognition Program. This discount applies to policies issuing or renewing on the following dates in the states listed below:

  • California - Policies effective on or after 10/1/2014
  • Colorado - Policies effective on or after 5/30/2015
  • Texas - Policies effective on or after 6/30/2015 
  • Arizona - Policies effective on or after 2/15/2016
  • Oregon – Policies effective on or after 6/30/2016
  • New Mexico - Policies effective on or after 1/1/2017
  • Utah - Policies effective on or after 1/5/2017

For more information: http://firewise.org/usa-recognition-program/usaa.aspx?sso=2a9c3307-0580-46e6-be06-27adc3c628b3?order_src=C365