Fire & Aviation

Burnout Operations

Fire and Aviation Program

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is responsible for fire management on 12.2 million acres of public lands across Arizona. The agency’s professional fire management staff provides wildland firefighting for protection of natural resources, as well as using fire as a to improve the health of the land. Naturally ignited wildand fire are utilized, as appropriate, to accomplish resource and healthy lands objectives for specific areas, as identified in Land Management Plans.

In fire and aviation management, the number one priority for BLM Arizona is firefighter and public safety. As a cooperator with other federal, state and local agencies and firefighting departments, the BLM assists its partners in wildland firefighting and all-hazard incidents such as earthquakes, floods and hurricanes.


BLM Arizona's fire program is comprised of the following major components: 

  • Wildland Fire Operations
  • Aviation
  • Fuels Management
  • Fire Mitigation, Prevention & Community Assistance
  • Fire Investigation & Trespass

Each of district, supported by fire and aviation management program staff at the state office, has staff responsible for each fire program component.

  • Arizona Strip District Fire Zone
    • Arizona Strip and Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument
  • Colorado River District Fire Zone
    • Kingman, Lake Havasu and Yuma
  • Phoenix District Fire Zone
    • Hassayampa and Lower Sonoran
  • Gila District Fire Zone
    • Safford and Tucson

Each District Fire Zone is supported by an Interagency Dispatch Center, Airtanker base as well as other established aviation facilities. There Arizona program supports 2 helitack modules; Weaver Mountain, based in the Phoenix District, and Moki, on the Arizona Strip District. Single Engine Airtankers are supported by a year-round base in Safford, AZ hosted by the Gila District and a seasonal base in Kingman, hosted by the Colorado River District.


Fire & Aviation

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Managing Wildfires

Wildfire management consists of actions that are applied to unplanned fires, such as those started by lightning, based on a number of factors such as; safety, economics, social considerations, political views, and anticipated environmental effects.  Some unplanned fires may provide positive ecological benefits.

Each wildfire start is evaluated to determine the best management strategy relative to land management objectives. The first priority in all decisions is the protection of human life and the safety of firefighters.  Once people have been committed to a wildfire incident, they become the highest value to protect.

After safety has been adequately assessed, managers consider the potential effect of the wildfire on property and natural and cultural resources.  Decisions also take into account the location of the fire, the condition of the fuels, current and predicted weather, and topography. Depending on the anticipated consequences and management objectives for the area that is likely to burn, any one or a combination of strategic and tactical actions may be chosen. 

Top View of SEAT Making a Retardant Drop


Fire Crew at Briefing



Wildfire Prevention Is Everyone's Responsibility

 

 


Current Fire Information
Arizona Fire Restrictions
Report A Wildfire
When in doubt dial 911!

BLM Arizona is a proud "52 Club" Gold Member.