Wildfire danger in Arizona is expected to be high this year following a wet winter that aided in increasing desert vegetation growth. Surprise Fire-Medical reminds residents that there are simple best practices that can help prevent wildfires and what steps should be taken to prepare for a wildfire evacuation.
If you believe you see a wildfire, call 911 immediately! Reporting the fire as quickly as possible can assist with containment and extinguishing.
Residents can help prevent brush fires and wildfires by:
- Clearing brush from your yard/around your home and removing overgrown bushes, dead branches or branches touching the ground
- Need to have it hauled away? The city offers free bulk trash pickup for Surprise residents. Learn more: surpriseaz.gov/bulktrash
- Making sure your lawn equipment is in good working order; a single spark can start a fire
- Checking to make sure vehicle trailer chains do not scrape the ground
- Being knowledgeable of city, county and state firework and campfire restrictions. Surprise Fireworks Information
- When camping, boating or cooking outdoors, make sure matches and cigarettes are completely out before disposing
Additional tips, rules and resources for preventing wildfires during brush fire season can be found at surpriseaz.gov/fire
Each year, the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (DEMA) launches a campaign to promote wildland fire preparedness and the statewide evacuation program, Ready, Set, Go!. This nationwide program, adopted by the 15 Arizona Sheriffs, educates residents about proactive measures to take before an emergency and actions to follow when communities are threatened.
Here are the steps:
READY – Prepare Now
Get ready by being aware of the hazards that can threaten your community.
- Create defensible space around your home by clearing 30 to 100 feet of vegetation.
- Register with your county emergency notification system.
- Connect with your local emergency management, sheriff’s office and public health department on social media.
- Make a family evacuation and communication plan that includes family phone numbers, out-of-town contacts and family meeting locations. Keep in mind physical distancing recommendations, wearing face coverings or other public health recommendations.
- Build an emergency go kit with enough food, water, health supplies and other necessary items for at least 72 hours. Include supplies to help keep you and your family healthy, such as face coverings, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes. Start with the five P’s; people and pet supplies, prescriptions, papers, personal needs and priceless items.
- Keep up to date on local news, weather watches and warnings and public health recommendations.
SET – Be Alert
Be set by maintaining awareness of significant danger.
- Residents should consider voluntarily relocating to a shelter or with family/friends outside the affected area. Residents should avoid close contact with those who are sick and should practice public health recommendations when relocating.
- Grab your emergency go kit.
- Keep in mind unique needs for your family or special equipment for pets and livestock.
- Stay aware of the latest news and information from public safety and public health officials.
- This might be the only notice you receive. Emergency services cannot guarantee they will be able to notify everyone if conditions rapidly deteriorate. Be SET to GO.
GO! – Evacuate
Go and evacuate immediately when the danger is current and life-threatening.
- Residents should evacuate immediately to a shelter or with family/friends outside of the affected area. Residents should avoid close contact with those who are sick and should practice public health recommendations when relocating.
- Follow instructions from emergency personnel, stay on designated evacuation routes and avoid closed areas.
- If you choose not to evacuate, you must understand emergency services may not be able to assist you further.
Learn more about Ready, Set, Go!