With fire season just around the corner, the Sedona Fire District is encouraging residents to do their part in reducing the fuels that often allow fires to spread.
As part of that, SFD and the U.S. Forest Service will be hosting the 15th annual cleanup day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, May 19 through 21, at Station 4 at 391 Forest Road in Uptown.
This is a way for SFD-area residents to dispose of their yard waste and combustible vegetation.
“This time of year as we dry out and heat up, fire burns with greater speed and intensity,” Fire Marshal Jon Davis said. “Defensible space slows the fire down and reduces its intensity by removing fuel load, specifically fuels that are in close proximity to your house.”
He said protecting one’s home from a wildfire starts with residents themselves. Creating a defensible space within 30 feet of the home can greatly reduce the risk of a wildfire, he said. Don’t have 30 feet? Then start with the first 10 feet around your home.
Tall, dry grasses provide a path for fire that can lead directly to the house. By removing tall dry grasses, leaves and pine needles from a home’s roof and gutters, the flammability potential is decreased. Pruning tree limbs so the lowest is between six and 10 feet from the ground reduces “ladder fuels.”
“Defensible space may not completely eliminate the threat of fire reaching your house,” he said. “But by diminishing the speed and intensity of the fire you are buying time for crews to respond and battle the fire.”
Yard debris, including brush, tree and shrub trimmings [limbs, trunks], as well as bagged leaves and pine needles [no cactus trimmings] may be dropped off during this event. In an effort to reduce the spread of noxious weeds, all leaves, grasses and pine needles must be bagged.
Appliances, hazardous materials, garbage, mattresses and other household waste will not be accepted.
For those who miss this event, the city of Sedona will have a clean-up event Monday through Friday, May 22 through 26, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the city maintenance yard located at 2070 Contractors Road. Visit sedonafire.org or firewise.org or call 204-8926.