Ash Flat Fire Department receives grant to assist with wildfire prevention

Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Arkansas Forestry Commission Representative Richard Spurlock presented Ash Flat Fire Chief Stacy Horton with a $1,000 grant from Firewise. Pictured from left are Horton, Spurlock, Captain Rob Simers and Ash Flat Mayor Larry Fowler.

Arkansas Forestry Commission representative Richard Spurlock, recently presented Ash Flat firefighters a $1,000 grant from Arkansas Firewise as part of a large-scale wildfire prevention effort across their fire district. Ash Flat is working to become a Firewise Community.

Also present for the award ceremony were Ash Flat Mayor Larry Fowler, Fire Chief Stacy Horton, Captain Rob Simers and members of the Arkansas Forestry Commission.

The Arkansas Forestry Commission (AFC) Firewise program is a nationally recognized wildfire safety effort that works with communities at a local level. As part of recognition requirements, Ash Flat crew members completed wildfire safety assessment surveys on structures in their fire district. They have developed a Community Wildfire Preparedness Plan, which outlines wildfire mitigation concerns and projects to reduce hazards in the next 5-year window (residents may request a copy).

"The Ash Flat Fire District is at risk for wildfire," said Arkansas Firewise Coordinator, Travis Haile. "North Central Arkansas is primarily forest land, with pasture coming in second, fuel loading can become big problems, and are in most communities. The Arkansas Forestry Commission is proud of this fire department so willing to make wildfire prevention a part of local concerns." The primary mission of the Firewise initiative is to improve a community's defensible space, or the area closest to homes (up to 300 feet from structures) that should be treated for wildfire-resistance. Many times homeowners take for granted that a fire department could save every home from fire; this is not a reality. What is a reality, however, is that residents can take active steps to ensure that their home could be saved in the event of a wildfire by keeping defensible space maintained and accessible to fire crews. The Ash Flat Fire Department and the AFC hope to support you in all efforts to reduce wildfire risk. Call Ash Flat Fire Department at 870-994-3066 to report your control burns, as well as the AFC Dispatch Center at 800-830-8015. Call 501-296-1940 for more information about Firewise, or visit the website at www.arkansasfirewise.com. Remember to call 911 to report wildfires or emergencies in your area.

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