Prescott case study
Improve Fire Prevention and Suppression Reduce Hazardous FuelsRestore Fire Adapted Ecosystems Promote Community AssistanceSummary



Prescott is exemplary in addressing its wildfire threat through interagency cooperation and community assistance programs. Interagency cooperation is coordinated through the Prescott Area Wildland Urban Interface Committee (PAWUIC), a public driven group that brings key local, state and federal agencies together. While PAWUIC coordinates the umbrella wildfire prevention efforts in Prescott, the Interagency Wildfire and Emergency Management Group (IFMEG) facilitates interagency cooperation. The 2002 Indian Fire tested and proved the quick and effective response capabilities of the Prescott area fire and emergency management agencies. Community outreach efforts headed by PAWUIC are an additional strength. The city uses a wide variety of tools and techniques. Town meetings, videos, posters, defensible space signs, web pages and newspaper articles are used to get the message out.

Prescott has developed an impressive program to assist homeowners to deal with hazardous fuels reduction. Prescott City, working with the surrounding Yavapai County, have created a comprehensive defensible space and slash disposal program. Prescott absorbs the 50% cost share portion of this program, making the program essentially free to residents. More recently the city and county embarked on a hazardous tree removal program to deal with the numerous bug infested and bug killed trees in the region, saving homeowners hundreds of dollars in treatment costs. Prescott Fire Department has a special Wildland Division, coordinated by their own Wildland Urban Interface Coordinator to promote, assist and support the city's hazardous fuel reduction programs.

Utilization of slash and forest debris is Prescott's greatest future challenge. PAWUIC's focus now is on developing a woody mass and byproducts industry.

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Copyright©2003 Toddi A. Steelman and North Carolina State University

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