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By Chief Ben Palm


There were wildfires in and around our community in January; the conditions are extremely dry.  Lack of rain reduces new plant growth; it also makes existing plant life more prone to ignition. Plants such as scrub oak, pine and creosote are highly flammable – more so in dry conditions. Staying Firewise is key: make sure you have defensible space around your home.  Trim branches, cut grasses and remove the debris.  Also, take advantage of the Coalition for Wildfire Adapted Communities events.


Join the food and informative fun!  Southern Yavapai Fire Department, a Coalition member, is hosting a spaghetti dinner on Saturday, February 24th at 4pm.  The suggested donation is $6 to cover the cost of food and beverages. SYFD Chief Kellie Brasher and YFD’s Bruce Olson will be explaining how preparation is the best way to protect against wildfires. SYFD is located at 9000 Magby Lane, Wilhoit, 86332, just one block east of Highway 89. Don’t miss the opportunities to socialized and learn. For info, contact Denise Roggio @ 928-427-6578.


Mark your calendar for Saturday, June 2nd, 2018. The Memorial Run raises funds for the Eric Marsh Foundation, William H. Warneke Foundation and YFD. The Yarnell Fire Auxiliary has contracted with Startline Racing to manage this annual fundraiser.  We’re excited about its expansion and new opportunities.  Thanks to Augie’s Restaurant and Yarnell Community Presbyterian Church for their sponsorship pledges. The event details are on the website: The auxiliary is seeking 25 volunteers, cash sponsors to pay expenses, In-Kind donations for raffles and participants to run!  Contact Denise Roggio or Linda Ma: 928-427-6578.


We are grateful to have YFD volunteer, Sharon Smith, on our team.  Sharon joined us in early 2014, and is a dedicated EMT.  She’s lived in Anthem, AZ for the past 15 years in a home custom built to suit her style.  Sharon brings a happy demeanor when she’s on duty.  As a long time Cardiovascular Technician for Arizona Heart, Sharon has a fabulous understanding of patient care. She loves life and is an avid fan of nature, outdoor activities and hiking. In fact, her favorite relaxing activity is cross-country skiing in Flagstaff.  Sharon enjoys spending time with her nieces and nephews; she also loves spending time in the kitchen. Some of our staff can attest to what a great cook she is! Sharon, thanks for your faithful service to our community. We’re glad you’re part of the YFD family.

December 2017 Service Calls:

Incidents: 18 – Average response time:  3.44 (3 Minutes, 26 Seconds) 

EMS: 14                Motor Vehicle Accident: 0             Welfare checks: 0

Mutual Aid: 2        Public Assists: 1                             Smoke Checks: 1

Structure Fire: 1    Wildland Fire: 1                            Rescue: 0

*NOTE: Mutual Aid is a separate category, not counted in total calls.

2017 Total Call Volume:

All Calls: 229 – EMS: 123   Wildfire: 13   Structure: 3   Motor Vehicle Accidents: 14

Welfare Checks: 12  Public Assists: 51  Smoke Checks: 7  Rescue: 1   Car Fire: 1  Rattlesnake: 2   Other/HazMat: 2  AVG Response time: 5 min. 8 sec.
**NOT INCLUDED IN TOTALS:  Mutual Aid Provided: 9   Received: 1




By Denise Roggio, Yarnell Fire District

As those of us who reside in rural Yavapai County are well aware, a health related emergency may require transport via ambulance or helicopter to the nearest medical facility.  The average ambulance cost is $3,650; helicopter transport costs are nearly triple that amount. If you have medical insurance, rest assured that most traditional health plans will not cover all the associated transport costs.  If you have NO health insurance, it is unlikely that you’ll be able to negotiate the bill with the transport provider.  I know this from experience. For instance, Lifeline will accept negotiated monthly payments, but the overall cost will remain in effect. Do you have the coverage you need?

After an ambulance ride in June, 2015, I was made aware of the coverage available from the transporting agencies. I quickly signed up for Air Methods Omni-Advantage membership and Lifeline Ambulance Lifecare.  However, it was recently brought to my attention that there is another company we should consider for transport assistance.

If something unfortunate happens that requires you or your loved one to be flown for treatment, understand that there are two companies that provide air transport in our area: Air Methods (Native Air) and PHI Air Medical (Air Vac 17). The problem is we have no way of knowing which one will respond. If Native Air is too far away, Air Vac 17 will respond, and vice-versa. If you have Air Methods/Omni Advantage coverage, it will only cover Native Air transport. So here are all the options:

  1. Lifecare Coverage: Lifeline Ambulance Coverage is available by calling 928-445-3814

Enrollment is during the month of September each year. If you call the number now, you will be placed on a waiting list until September 2018.  The cost according to their website is $50.73 annually per family.  Transport charges will go through your existing health insurance first.

  1. Air Methods Membership: Helps pay for Native Air Flights. Air Methods offers membership starting at $40 per individual or $75 per family annually. Group Plans are available. Air Methods stipulates that this is not an insurance program – it only covers Air Methods Flights after health insurance has met its requirement. If you have no health insurance, you may still qualify. Call 855-877-2518 for application and information.
  2. PHI Coverage: Helps pay for Air Vac 17 Flights. PHI Cares offers family coverage for as low as $50 per year. Brochures are available in the Fire Administration Building. You may sign up online by visiting and using Base Code 3756.

Call for information: 1-888-435-9744

Buyer alert: Membership rates for the above are based upon current health insurance status. If you have no coverage or receive Medicare, please contact each company to be sure you qualify for membership.

If you need assistance call Denise at the Fire Administration Building: 928-427-6578.


Fire Danger: High

Fire Danger: High

By Chief Ben Palm


Arizona has been dry for quite some time, and the heat lingered long. Multiple wildfires have started in our State and the fire danger is High. There are several things you can do to help us serve you better:

Firstly, create defensible space around your home by cutting tall grass and removing low tree limbs; thoroughly rake leaves.  Secondly, obtain a burning permit for all open flame fires and brush burning.  This is very important! Stop in at the Fire Administration Building. There is no fee, and it helps us to stay informed. Let’s stay Firewise.

Becoming Fire Adapted Communities:

Join us at the Wildfire Adapted Community Event, Saturday, January 13th at 11am at the Congress Fire Station.  Congress firefighters and our Auxiliary are cooking up some Chili! A suggested donation is $6 for adults/$3 for children to cover the cost of food. Denny Foulk from Yavapai County Emergency Management will be presenting information relating to evacuation preparation. This is the second event for the Wildfire Adapted Communities. YFD hosted a successful pancake breakfast on November 4th.  The Wildfire Adapted Community Coalition involves Congress, Wickenburg, Peeples Valley, Southern Yavapai, Williamson Valley-Bagdad and Yarnell Fire Departments. Looking forward to what we can accomplish together. A suggested donation is $6 for adults/$3 for children to cover the cost of food.

New Faces at YFD:

We are happy to have Autumn Winter and Devin Carvalho on our team! Autumn is an EMT and Devin is a Medic and Firefighter who is assisting with our Cadet Program. Both join us from out of town, and we welcome them to YFD’s Family.

Training Updates:

Congratulations to Chandler Hill, Taylor Erwin, Jesse Root and Zach Moralez on graduating from the Yarnell Fire Training Center EMT program on November 18th. Also, Josh Western is preparing to graduate from Paramedic School on December 16th. Jeff Shearer and Nick Bomar are attending Firefighter I and II classes in Bagdad through March 2018. Keep up the good work!

Employee Spotlight:

YFD is a combination Fire Department who relies heavily on dedicated volunteers.  Without them it would be difficult to provide efficient service.  One of those volunteers is Chuck Edwards. Chuck resides in Glen Ilah, is a true family man who is very proud of his wife, Trish, and his daughters. Among his hobbies are star-gazing, traveling and camping; he’s also a movie aficionado, with particular interest in Sci-Fi. He sings well, both for fun and in the Community Presbyterian Church choir. Chuck was in the first EMT graduating class at Yarnell Fire Training Center. He is also a certified wildland firefighter. He is a great addition to YFD, and he has added to the cohesiveness of our department. We know we can count on him.  Thank you, Chuck, for being a dedicated volunteer!

Cadet Program:

This is our third year and we’re excited to have 8 students. The Cadets were visited by Air Vac 17, Wickenburg on November 4th. For information about this program Contact Captain Rice at 928-427-6578.

October Calls: 19

EMS: 14          Motor Vehicle Accidents: 1   Welfare Checks: 1      Smoke Checks: 1        Wildfire: 2


Becoming a Fire Adapted Community

Becoming a Fire Adapted Community

By Chief Ben Palm

Wildfire Outlook

It was an active fire season in Oregon, California and Montana. There is still fire threat in Arizona; remember that cool, dry air is as much a fire hazard as when the temperatures are high.  This is a great time to do your fall yard cleaning: remove brush, trim trees and cut tall grasses. Let’s stay Firewise!

Becoming Fire Adapted Communities:

Living in a wildland urban interface has taught us that education and preparation are the keys to fire prevention and response to wildfire.  Thanks to a Fire Prevention and Safety Grant from FEMA, YFD has joined a Coalition to help our community and surrounding areas to become fire adapted.  Under the direction of Bruce Olson and Denise Roggio, we will be involved in Community Outreach. On Saturday, October 7th, Bruce will be at Home Depot, Prescott, to take part in their Fire Prevention Expo; 150 children are expected to attend from 9am -noon. We will also be able to provide more education and gifts to the students at Model Creek School at their October Fire Prevention Week. Many other outreach activities are being planned. Thank you to the Yarnell Fire Auxiliary and Linda Ma for their committed support for Coalition activities. For information, contact Program Director, Denise, at 928-427-6578.

Breakfast at the Station! Mark Your Calendars:

The Yarnell Fire Auxiliary will be hosting a Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, November 4th at the Yarnell Fire Station, 8am. The event is open to all ages from Congress to Wilhoit.  Join us for a delicious breakfast followed by a brief presentation about Fire Prevention and Preparedness. We will provide take-home packets that pertain to the topic. Pancakes, Eggs and Bacon – $8/adult or $4/child suggested donation. This is a kick-off event for becoming Fire Adapted Communities.

Anniversary Coins for Sale: In honor of YFD’s 60th year in service, a coin has been minted to commemorate the anniversary. Please see Denise at the Admin. Building to purchase yours for $15.

Hazardous Fuels Project – Thanks!

Firstly, thank you to Bruce Olson for the fantastic work as supervisor for Yarnell Fire District, mitigating 22 acres of fuels. Secondly, thank you to those property owners who participated and volunteered many hours to make the project successful.

Employee Spotlight:

Committed employees make all the difference.  I’d like to thank Denise Roggio for her hard work at YFD. Denise is the SAFER Grant Administrator.  She has helped to acquire more than $200,000 in grant funding for YFD since she joined us in February 2015.  Last year, she earned the credential, Certified Grant Writer© from the American Grant Writers Association; since then she has been a conference speaker, educating other grant writers. Denise is also a full time student at NAU, a singer/pianist, a music teacher at Model Creek School and performs at various venues on the weekends. She is an important part of our daily administration. Our office is upbeat and fun because of the camaraderie between the office staff.  She often says that we are her “commercial free entertainment.” Denise, thank you for all you do!

Cadet Program:

The 2017-2018 Cadet year will start in November.  Registration is $50 per Cadet and forms are available at the Admin. Building. Contact Captain Rice at 928-427-6578 for information.

AUGUST 2017  Service Calls  Incidents: 21 – EMS: 9   Welfare checks: 3 Public Assists: 3 Motor Vehicle Accidents: 4  Fire: 1 Snake Removal: 1


Property Fuels Mitigation

Property Fuels Mitigation

1. If you reside near someone whose property needs fuels mitigation, your first step is to talk to the property owner and ask them to complete the necessary abatement. Often, a request from neighbors will prompt action.

2. If you cannot contact the property owner, take the following steps:

a. Click here to locate the exact parcel number for the property in question

b. Call Yavapai County Development Services 928-771-3214 and give them the address and parcel number. The County will need the parcel number!

3. If your own property needs attention and you are personally unable to perform the work, Yavapai County Contractors Association has a good list of licensed contractors here that should be able to assist you.

Be proactive and stay safe.


Smokey Visits Kirkland


KIRKLAND, AZ October 30, 2017:  We all remember Smokey the Bear’s familiar message: “Only YOU can prevent forest fires”. The students at Kirkland Elementary School were treated to a personal visit from America’s favorite Mascot, along with Chief Kellie Brasher, Southern Yavapai Fire Department, State Forestry personnel and Yarnell Fire representatives. Smokey also made an appearance at Model Creek School in Peeples Valley earlier this month.

Smokey’s activity in Yavapai County is partly due to the formation of a Fire Department Coalition to promote wildfire awareness, educating people about the importance of being prepared.  The Wildfire Adapted Community Coalition includes Congress, Yarnell, Peeples Valley, Southern Yavapai and Williamson Valley-Bagdad Fire Departments.  “The purpose of education is more than simply knowledge. It is the foundation for accomplishing something important for our small rural towns,” says Bruce Olson, Educational Supervisor for the Coalition.  These important things include evacuation prep and mapping, creating defensible space around homes and prevention of human caused fire.

The Coalition is focusing on outreach.  Upcoming events include a Pancake Breakfast, this Saturday, November 4th at 8am at Yarnell Fire Station, 22558 Looka Way, Yarnell.  The event, sponsored by the Yarnell Fire Auxiliary, will include a brief presentation and take-home information for residents. Breakfast includes eggs, sausage, pancakes, berries and beverages for a donation to help with food costs.  All are welcome. Chief Palm of Yarnell, Chief Heckman of Peeples Valley, Chief Brasher of Southern Yavapai, Chief Suitor of Congress, and Deputy Chief Tunis of Williamson Valley Fire will be in attendance to help answer residents’ concerns and questions. Air Vac 17 plans to land on YFD’s helipad and join the fun. Yavapai County Jeep Posse will be represented. Denise Roggio, Program Coordinator adds, “We’ll be hosting a community event in every Coalition Department in the next several months.  Speakers planned include Denny Foulk, Director of Emergency Management in Yavapai County and Ann Mottek from Greater Flagstaff Firewise Communities. We want to give valuable resources to our communities! An added bonus is we can co-mingle in a casual, fun environment to work together. Please join us!”

Contact Denise Roggio for information by calling 928-427-6578.


Accomplishments and Accolades

Accomplishments and Accolades

By Chief Ben Palm

Wildfire Outlook

At this time, we remain alert and cautious as we hope you will continue to do so. Open burning is allowed, but we require a burn permit from the Yarnell Fire District Administration office; this ensures that we are aware of your burn in case of emergency or calls regarding smoke. Keep your grasses cut and keep 30 feet of clearance around your home.  Thank you for your continued cooperation!

YFD Projects:

The 2017 Fuels Abatement Project continues through September 30th.  If you would like information about how to protect your home, please call us at 928-427-6578. Other projects include trimming around the fire hydrants in Yarnell, and planning based on grant resources.

Anniversary Coins for Sale: In honor of YFD’s 60th year in service, a coin has been minted to commemorate the anniversary. Please see Denise at the Admin. Building to purchase yours for $15.

EMT Class Begins:

The Yarnell Fire Training Center is hosting an EMT Certification Class beginning Tuesday, September 12th.  Class meets every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 6pm – 10pm, and every Saturday from 8am – 5pm for 11 weeks, ending on Saturday, November 18th. The Training Center is located in the Yarnell Fire Station.  Cost: $850, all inclusive.  Updated immunizations required for clinical participation.  To register or obtain information, please contact Denise Roggio at 928-427-6578.

YFD Staff Training:

Arizona State Fire School begins on September 6th; four of us will be attending classes in Mesa.  Two of our staff are enrolled in Prescott’s Fire Academy.  The Academy is a 6 month commitment resulting in Firefighter I and II certification.

Good News:

Congratulations to Jason Hershberger, who will be graduating Paramedic School on September 14th.  And that’s not all: On August 12th, Jason proposed to another of our staff, Jordan Collins, who happily accepted! A March wedding is being planned. We wish them all the best.

Employee Spotlight:

The daily business at the Fire District wouldn’t be successful without committed employees.  I’d like to thank Nina Bour-Beau for her hard work at YFD. Nina resides in town and is our QuickBooks/Payroll Administrator who handles reporting, deposits, budgeting and assisting with all financial matters. She also does the bookwork for the Yarnell Community Center and is the secretary at Yarnell Community Presbyterian Church. She is a guitarist and singer, a devoted daughter and loves her Chiweenie. Nina joined us in October 2012 and adds so much to our cohesive team; her quick wit makes for a fun office environment. Nina’s job isn’t easy; in fact it’s very detailed and sometimes burdensome. She can be counted on like clockwork. We’re grateful for her dedication. Thanks, Nina!

Cadet Program:

The 2017-2018 Cadet year will start in October.  Registration is $50 per Cadet and forms are available at the Admin. Building. Contact Captain Rice at 928-427-6578 for information.

JULY 2017  Service Calls  Incidents: 11 – EMS: 7   Welfare checks: 1 Public Assists: 1 Wildland Fire: 1 Snake Removal: 1