Improve Fire Prevention and Suppression Reduce Hazardous FuelsRestore Fire Adapted Ecosystems Promote Community AssistanceSummary

 

WGA Goal - Improve Fire Prevention and Suppression


Actions to meet goal

  • Improve firefighting capability/readiness to protect communities and the environment
  • Reduce incidence of injury to life and property resulting from catastrophic wildland fire
  • Expand outreach and education to homeowners
  • Develop a consistent preparedness model among partners

Eagar Fire Department

Eagar FD signThe Eagar Fire Department has 29 volunteers and one paid employee, the chief, and operates on a $140,000 annual budget. The surrounding communities have even fewer volunteers. Alpine has 10 and Nutrioso has none. Finding volunteers for these small communities can be difficult due to the part time residents. In Eagar there is lack of a sound economic base and many volunteers work outside the town, which can make it difficult to find volunteers that can respond during the work week. 21 out of 29 volunteers in Eagar have 131-190 training and are red carded. Eagar Fire Department participates in a mutual aid agreement with other local volunteer fire departments, the Forest Service, Arizona State Land Division, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and National Park Service.

In recent years Eagar has been able to improve its fire equipment. In the 1980s, the town owned a 1946 Seagraves engine and parked it in half of an old Quonset hut. Today, the Fire Department has a modern look. In 2003, they purchased a Type 1 engine with city funds for $173,000. In 2003, they also purchased a mini-pumper with FEMA monies for $138,000 and completed an addition to the fire station. All labor for the addition was in-house including public works and fire department personnel.


Eagar fire trucks

Urban Interface Fire Plan

In 2001, the Eagar Fire Department received a $6,300 State Fire Assistance grant to create an urban interface fire plan for the community and properties outside city limits. Eagar Fire Chief, Howard Carlson estimates the fire plan to be completed in August 2004. The plan will provide emergency responders a foundation for coordinate suppression in a major fire situation by establishing protocols and radio frequencies. It will also protect citizens by having actions pre-planned in an emergency situation. The plan includes maps of the community, water source locations, evacuation procedures and evacuee locations, high risk areas, recommendation on fuel treatment, information on known hazardous material storage, proposed line construction locations and restrictions, flight hazards and loss potential to structures. The fire plan will be made available to all cooperating agencies with additional copies available to resources that respond to a fire from outside the local area.

 

Community Outreach

Education and outreach has been limited to a fire prevention week in local schools, which occurs in October each year. The Eagar Fire Department targets all the schools with National Fire Safety materials. Outreach also occurs through one-on-one contact, but not in any systematic manner.

 

Annual Coordination

The USFS also schedules an Annual Coordination meeting each spring. All organizations that deal with a wildfire emergency attend including the local fire departments, utility companies, Red Cross, Police, etc. They review processes and procedures for each entity in the event of a wildfire.

 

Northeastern Arizona Fire Chiefs Association

Local fire departments have formed an organization called the Northeastern Arizona Fire Chiefs Association and they meet on a monthly basis to work on mutual aid between departments.


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Copyright©2004 Toddi A. Steelman and North Carolina State University

 
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