In light of many recent fires seen in the region, the Sierra Vista Police Department urges residents to play it safe while rising temperatures, dry conditions, and occasional high winds make for prime fire conditions.
Although the Lizard and Dragoon Fires now burning in the Dragoon Mountains were reportedly caused by lightening, other recent fires were sparked by human activity. On Friday, May 26, a brush fire erupted in the area of Calle Cumbre and Avenida Del Sol. The investigation led to the referral of two juveniles for reckless burning, as they started the fire with a fidget spinner and were unable to extinguish it.
That fire started small but ended up growing to about 30 acres. Fortunately no structures were involved and no one was injured. However, this fire demonstrates how a careless mistake can spark a fire that poses significant danger. Common causes of fires include target shooting, camp fires, barbecues, and cigarette butts.
“The Sierra Vista Police Department exercises zero tolerance when cigarette butts are discarded out of vehicles because it puts our community at risk,” says Cpl. Tim Wachtel, public information officer for SVPD. “If caught, you could face significant fines or even jail time associated with charges of criminal littering, criminal damage, reckless burning, or endangerment.”
The high fire danger prompted Sierra Vista Fire & Medical Services to suspend open burning within the city limits on May 23 and that suspension is expected to remain in effect until significant rainfall occurs. The Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management also recently implemented fire restrictions for state owned and managed lands within Cochise, Greenlee, La Paz, Pima, Pinal, Santa Cruz, and Yuma Counties.
“Please be mindful of the high fire danger and avoid activities that could spark an accidental fire, especially on windy days,” Wachtel says.