USA– Drivers throughout the Prescott region might notice some new signs that alert them to two words every local resident should know: defensible space.
The Prescott Area Wildland/Urban Interface Commission (PAWUIC) used about $3,700 in grant money to buy the signs and posts.
The group wants to spread the word that people need to create defensible space around their homes to protect themselves from wildfires. That sometimes means thinning out overgrown vegetation so a continuous line of fuel is not available to fire.
While similar signs already existed in Prescott, Walker, Crown King and the Central Yavapai Fire District’s rural Prescott coverage area, these signs have new designs and now appear in four new locations in the forested communities of Groom Creek and Crown King south of Prescott, PAWUIC Chair Gary Roysdon said.
“The new sign draws your eye better than the old ones,” Roysdon said.
The signs simply say, “Be firewise. Create defensible space.” They also list the phone number of the local fire department, and say they are sponsored by PAWUIC. They feature a photo of a home surrounded by fire. Morgan Sign Co. in Prescott designed them.
The new signs also will replace some of the older signs in poor condition that have been in place for about seven years in Prescott. They contain the same words but a different design. State Farm Insurance donated them.
In all, 56 signs will stand throughout the region, Roysdon said. About half feature the new design.
“Anytime you see the words ‘defensible space,’ in my opinion, is good,” said Roysdon, a PAWUIC volunteer who lives in the forested community of Highland Pines just west of Prescott. He gives free presentations about the need for people in Arizona’s forests to create defensible space.
The Prescott area has more subdivisions and communities that have earned the firewise designation than any other region of the country. To learn more about firewise communities, people can visit www.firewise.org.
Experts rate Prescott as a high risk for catastrophic wildfires because of the thick vegetation and dry conditions here.
PAWUIC is involved in numerous projects to encourage citizens to create defensible space. Volunteer member Everett Warnock coordinated the new signs. Other members include local fire departments, the state andPrescott National Forest.