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As the old saying goes, “Practice makes perfect.” And when the practice area is near perfect, well, that makes it even better.Sedona Fire District personnel pull debris, branches and ivy from one of the abandoned Lomacasi Cottage buildings on Monday, April 21. Crews took part in an exercise designed to protect structures in advance of a fast-moving fire.

That’s how Sedona Fire District personnel described the conditions on Monday, April 21, during a three-day structural protection exercise at the abandoned Lomacasi Cottages just north of Uptown. The owners of the property granted permission to the SFD to conduct the drills. The property consists of several cottages of varying size. Over the years, the trees have overgrown as have the brush and bushes.

The scenario was that there was a 50-acre fire that was spreading quickly, similar to the Steamboat Fire a decade ago. Crew were battling the blaze while the secondary crews were securing a pair of homes in the path of the fire. They had minutes to assess if each home was defensible and what it would take to prepare for the oncoming fire. Anything removed from a home in a real event must be documented as well as what work was done.


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