Smokey Visits Kirkland

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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.