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Monday, April 23, 2012

Don't Jinx It

Shhhhhh . . . .don’t mention fire season.

The mood shifts around our office this time of year.

A remark about a bad fire season or working long shifts at the State Emergency Operations Center turns into a blame game.

You jinxed it, now when it happens it is your fault.

The ironic thing is that wildfires are frequently human-caused disasters. We don’t have to leave it up to chance . . .we can take steps to minimize wildfire risk.

Did you know that chainsaws, broken glass, carelessly tossed cigarettes, fireworks, abandoned campfires and discharge of firearms are all known causes of wildfires?

In 2006, the Brins Fire in Sedona was caused by a welder’s torch that sparked some dry brush.

In 2011, the Wallow Fire was started by a campfire that was not properly extinguished. This fire became the largest wildfire in state history scorching approximately 538,000 acres.

In 2012 . . . .what will the next big one be? You can hardly listen to the news without hearing that fire officials are predicting another bad year for wildfires in Arizona.

I am going to do my part to not let that prediction jinx us.

For starters, I am going to brush up on putting out a campfire. When all to burgers are grilled and the s’mores have been eaten, I will make sure the fire is out.

Second, I am going to clear out the weeds in my alley (my version of clearing defensible space). Although I live in the heart of Phoenix, weeds in the alley adjacent to a wooden fence are a fire danger.

Third, I am going to use some common sense. Using equipment that can cause sparks can be dangerous, especially in windy conditions. I will remember this when using my super fancy deluxe lawn edger that sparks when I accidentally hit the concrete.

In my heart I know remarks around the office or in the news will not dictate the next disaster . . .but then again . . . .why take the chance.

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