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Yarnell Fire District Receives Award For Mitigation Efforts
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23 January 2017   Tiffany Davila

Yarnell’s fire mitigation efforts contributed greatly to averting another tragedy last year. 

Phoenix, AZ (1/23/17) – The Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire proudly recognizes the Yarnell Fire District as a recipient of the 2017 Wildfire Mitigation Award. 

The national award recognizes outstanding fire departments, municipalities, individuals, and groups who have made a difference in their communities through the mitigation of hazardous fuels reduction. 

In 2013, after the fire, Yarnell Fire Chief Ben Palm jumped on mitigation efforts and established a fuels team within his department. With the help of a Bureau of Land Management grant, Chief Palm spearheaded the efforts to mitigate fuels that continued to pose a threat to the area. 

Within three years, the Yarnell Fire District’s fuels team cleared 88 acres of overgrown brush in the community. 

“While we certainly appreciate the award, more importantly, we want our community to know we have taken a proactive stance in the mitigation and removal of hazardous fuels around the community, which so far has proven to be effective. This was a cooperative effort within the Yarnell Fire District and I am proud of my team and their hard work to keep our community safe,” said Yarnell Fire Chief Ben Palm. 

“I would like to congratulate Yarnell Fire Chief Ben Palm and his department on the 2017 Wildfire Mitigation Award for their dedication and continual efforts to keep their communities safe. Chief Palm and his team prioritized mitigation efforts in the Yarnell-area and worked diligently reduce those dangerous fuels. We hope other wildfire-prone communities across the state take notice of the Yarnell Fire District’s accomplishments and establish similar teams to remove and revitalize the wildland areas of their communities,” said State Forester Jeff Whitney. 

The BLM and AZ DFFM collaborated with the Yarnell Fire District to help with the fuels mitigation project also. 

The Yarnell Fire District was one of 14 awardees recognized by the National Association of State Foresters, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Fire Protection Association, and the United States Forest Service. 

Awards will be presented at the Wildland-Urban Interface Conference in Nevada in March. 

For more information, contact Tiffany Davila at 602-771-5140 or by email at tdavila@dffm.az.gov 

Related video:

eNewsAZ spoke with Fire Chief Ben Palm at the time of the Tenderfoot Fire last June.