Fire reporting and Non-Emergency reporting
All who Patrol Mt. Lemmon primarily, however everyone should be aware of the following:
Obvious out of control smoke and fire outside call 911 immediately and if in the vicinity- get out.
Procedure for unsure level of smoke or fire:
Directions from the Forest Service Fire Manager IF not a 911 event.
For small fire concerns that are non-emergency, call Tucson Dispatch (520-202-2710). They will be able to make contact with the Duty Officer, and send resources to respond, if needed.
On busy weekends, there can be a lot of smoke from legal activities – attended campfires, grills, etc. These legal activities do not need to be reported.
But, if there is an unattended campfire, then call Tucson Dispatch and give info on location and what the fire is doing:
Is it within the fire ring or outside the ring? Fires outside the ring need to be dealt with promptly.
Is it smoldering or actively burning and moving around?
Provide your name and phone number, so responders can call if they need more info.
The monsoons can be tricky with the water dogs*. With the single snag fires**, call Tucson Dispatch and give info about the fire, using your best judgement on size, location, smoke description, etc. Your name and phone number, and your location from where you are seeing it can be helpful too.
For any emergency, call 911. In some cases, there are local fire departments that may be closer and able to respond as well.
District FMO (Acting)
Coronado National Forest,
Santa Catalina Ranger District
* Water Dog: During the monsoon months, in the early morning, after an overnight rain event, moisture may rise out of the forest in a mist. Sometimes they are a small rising stream moving straight up and unaffected by drafts, therefore appearing like smoke. Or the mist/moisture may be a rising blanket of moisture appearing like a sweeping area of smoke.
* Snag: A (green) tree or vertical dead tree that was struck over night by lightning. If not discovered over night, it will be either still on fire or is low burning in the morning. In any case smoke is rising straight up in the absence of air movement or drifting in a particular direction base on the prevailing wind. As stated, try and pinpoint the origin and if smoke is drifting - which direction is it moving along with where you are in relation for Dispatch determine.
Knowing the difference between these two events takes some experiential exposure over time. You should be aware of these possibilities when calling Dispatch, but call!
Place the Dispatch number in your phone and/or write it on the back of your Go-Guide.
Cellphone service is spotty. As we have advised, leave your phone on Airplane mode, or have a portable charger to conserve the battery until needed to call out.
Check periodically, by turning off airplane mode to see what your reception is where you are. IF, you have to get 911 or Dispatch, do the best you can safely and get to an area where you can get reception- DO NOT RUN. Last effort , get to the Palisades Visitor Center as soon as safely possible to report or get a call out.
Contact me directly if you have further questions- see contact info above.
Thank you all for being the eyes and ears for the Forest and in assisting the U.S. Forest Service