Daisy Mountain Fire Medical on the scene at a brush fire that ignited in New River on April 17. Photos courtesy of Tara Alatorre/Staff
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Cholla Patch brush fire is a somber reminder of fire threat this season


Tara Alatorre
NEW RIVER – Daisy Mountain Fire Medical responded to a small brush fire that ignited at the Cholla Patch property near New River Road and 23rd Avenue at around 2:45 p.m. on April 17.

The owner of the home noticed a fire had ignited on her property and she attempted to put it out, but quickly realized that the fire was too big for her to handle, so she called the fire department for assistance, according to first responders on the scene.

The fire was contained and extinguished by Daisy Mountain Fire (DMF) in about 30 minutes, and the cause has been undetermined.  There will be no investigation regarding this fire, said Dave Jensen, a battalion chief with DMF.

“Everything is dry right now,” said Jensen while explaining that the fire season has already arrived in the Valley. “Even a piece of glass can magnify and spark a fire.”

The fire department wants to remind residents about keeping a defensible space around their homes during the dry season, which will prevent brush fires from spreading to property structures or surrounding areas.

“A defensible area is a 30-100-foot area with nothing touching a structure, no plants, no branches, no brush,” Jensen said, while explaining that a defensible area keeps fires from spreading.

This spring has already started out warm and dry, and this week the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management placed seven counties on stage one fire restrictions including Maricopa and Yavapai counties.

The fire restrictions in the areas apply to campfires, smoking and fireworks and will go into place on all state-owned and managed lands, which include state trust land outside of incorporated municipalities, Game and Fish wildlife areas, state parks (except certain developed campgrounds that will still allow fires) and all Department of Transportation highways and right-of-ways.

“There’s too many factors against us right now.  Dry conditions, warm temperatures, wind events and people being careless are more than enough reasons as to why we need to implement restrictions soon rather than later,” said State Forester Jeff Whitney.

Fire restrictions will be in place until they are rescinded by the forestry department, information about the areas under fire restrictions can be found at http://firerestrictions.us/az/.

DMF says that residents are welcome to contact the department for more information about fire safety or creating a defensible area by contacting 623-465-7400, daisymountainfire.org or email fire.admin.dmfd.org.