Explaining wildfire containment and useful resources for fire safety in Arizona
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - From 2,000 charred acres north of Scottsdale with the Diamond fire to 3,000 smoldering acres south of Tucson at the Beehive fire, fire crews across Arizona had their handful battling wildfires this week.
“As temperatures rise the dry air and a lot of times the afternoon winds coming out of the southwest is very common so high winds dry weather, and high heat are a bad mixture,” said Captain Shaun Duboiys with Phoenix Fire.
With these harsh conditions, firefighters are urging people to be aware of the dangers. When a wildfire breaks out, crews work to form a perimeter to prevent the fire from spreading. Their goal is the circle around the fire. How much they have surrounded the wildfire is how much they have contained. For example, when crews report a wildfire is 60% contained, this means 60% of the perimeter of the fire is being managed by fire crews and is under control, not that it is 60% out.
Once crews have completely circled the wildfire, it becomes 100% contained, but even if this is the case, the fire could still be burning. Wildfires can burn for weeks or even months after being completely contained.
The area of a wildfire can still be dangerous even if you don’t see any flames. “If it’s a brush fire it can be smoldering and moving instead of having those big flames that you might be thinking about,” said Captain Duboiys.
There are ways to protect your home if you live in rural areas of the state. Keep anything burnable, like firewood and brush at least 15 feet away from your home. Regarding trees, firefighters recommend cutting all the branches 3 feet from the base. This prevents a tree from catching fire during a wildfire. “Cut those branches if you see that it’s going beneath your awnings or a wood structure in your home. Cut that back so if it does catch fire it will just burn out and not go into your attic,” said Captain Dave Folio with Scottsdale Fire.
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