Newspaper Archive of
San Manual Miner
San Manuel , Arizona
June 1, 2016     San Manual Miner
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June 1, 2016

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4 [ San Manuel Miner June 1, 2016 By Holt Bodinson Oracle Firewise EVACUATE! It's a scary thought, but Oracle residents are being urged to prepare for the unthinkable. Most residents remember with dread the devastating forest fires that swept up to the edges of Oraele's residential districts--the Oracle Hill and Bullock Fires of 2002, the Aspen Fire of 2003 and the John Adams Fire of 2o14. Since then the community has done a remarkable job of evaluating residential properties for fire risk through its Firewise volunteer corps, maintaining a year-round brush dump and working with the U.S. Forest Service and the Arizona State Forestry Division to reduce forest fuels in and around the periphery of Oracle. Yet, as last summer's heavy build-up of wild grasses proved, keeping potential wildfire fuels under control is a constant and a personal responsibility of every homeowner. The question remains as to what would happen if the residents had to evacuate. At a packed meeting at the Oracle Community Center, residents heard from the key local and state agencies which would be responsible for the controlled evacuation and recovery of the community. Fire Chief Larry Southard and Assistant immediate formation of a multi-agency task force under a unified command consisting of the Pinal County Sheriff's Department, Pinal County Office of Emergency Management, Arizona Department of Public Safety and the American Red Cross. The Chiefs observed that Oracle Fire Department with the help of CERTS and Firewise volunteers has developed Chief Robert Jennings explained that the : i!! Fire Department itself does not conduct evacuations since its personnel would be fighting the fire but relies on the SUN LIFE FAMILY HEALTH CENTER Family Care by your Medical Team at Sun Life Family Practice in San Manuel Seth Fate, FNP & Lena Freese, DO Welcoming Patients of All Ages 520-385-2234 Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. 23 McNab Parkway, San Manuel Accepting Most Major Insurance - AHCCCS - Medicare No Health Insurance? We can help! Now offering Integrated Behavioral Health Martha C 25 years ~ ~iI construcfi I ROC 198813K~i ~ Licensed, Bond~ ~ ** Ask your insurance company about the advantages of using a licensed contractor. AOLE C 0 Oracle Fire Chief Larry Southard an Emergency Notification Telephone System that contains the land line numbers of Oracle residents and can be expanded to include cell phone numbers if residents would volunteer them. Oracle has been divided into ~9 sections, and the Emergency Notification System ~11 be activated to deliver a pre-evacuation notice to any or all of the sections threatened. The Chiefs also explained that volunteers have been meeting face-to-face with Oracle's most vulnerable residents, those with Home Alone units, to insure they know how to prepare for evacuation and know who would be responsible for their evacuation. Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu then explained to the audience that his department would be the lead agency in control of the evacuation and the establishment of a unified Incident Command. He observed that each deputy has a detailed map of Oracle in their vehicle computer arranged into evacuation sectors, and his deputies would use both loud speakers and house-to-house checks to insure residents were evacuating. Sheriff Babeu also noted that he would be working in conjunction with DPS to maintain traff~c control of residents leaving and of fire fighting assets coming into the community. In closing, he noted that once the community or portions of the community had been evacuated, his Administrators from Oracle Fire District want to make sure the community is prepared in the event of a fire-related evacuation like the one necessitated by the John Adams Fire of 2014. OFD is working with several county and state agencies to make evacuation easier.