BLM transfers wildland fire engines to three rural fire readiness partners in Arizona

In February, the Bureau of Land Management Arizona transferred three fire engines to three rural wildland partners in Arizona. The Arizona Strip District transferred a fire engine to the Hildale-Colorado City Fire Department; the Colorado River District transferred a fire engine to the Pinion Pine Fire District; and the Gila District transferred a fire engine to the Pima Volunteer Fire Department. [Photos below.]

The engines were transferred under BLM’s Rural Fire Readiness (RFR) program, which is designed to provide wildland fire equipment to local wildland firefighting partners at no cost to increase the capability and capacity of local cooperators and increases the safety and effectiveness of the collaborative wildland fire response.

“We appreciate and value the assistance our local, rural and volunteer fire departments provide us across the state,” said BLM Arizona State Director Ray Suazo, “These equipment transfers enhance our already strong cooperative working relationship, as it brings more fire resources to the fight regardless of jurisdiction.” 

Community partnerships between the BLM and local fire departments are crucial to wildfire response on private, state, and federal lands that support grazing, recreation, wildlife, and other values important to local economies. Local, volunteer, and rural fire departments typically operate in remote areas and can respond to fire starts in some cases hours before BLM ground crews could arrive. 

The BLM accepts RFR applications from local fire departments for available vehicles, equipment, and supplies, and transfers excess items to local fire departments in the months ahead of the next fire season.

For more information on the RFR program, contact your local BLM office and visit the BLM Rural Fire Readiness webpage at: https://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/rural-fire-readiness-program.

Arizona Strip to Hildale-Colorado City Fire Department:

Members of the Hildale-Colorado City Fire Department and BLM's Arizona Strip District standing in front of fire engines and the fire department.
Members of the Hildale - Colorado City Fire Department (HCCFD) and Arizona Strip District Fire from left to right: HCCFD Capt. Dan Roy Barlow, HCCFD Engineer Sam Barlow, HCCFD Fire Chief Kevin Barlow, HCCFD Capt. Porter Barlow, BLM Arizona Strip District Manager Mike Herder, BLM Arizona Strip District Assistant Fire Manager Ty Mizer, BLM Arizona Strip District Fire Management Officer Shawn Jaca and HCCFD Asst. Chief Edwin Barlow.

Colorado River District to Pinion Pine Fire District:

Members of the Colorado River District and Pinion Pine Fire Department stand in front of a fire engine.
Members of the Colorado River District  and Pinion Pine Fire Department: from left to right: Colorado River District Manager, William Mack; Colorado River District Fire Management Officer, Wade Reaves; and Pinion Pine FD, James Bevins

Gila District to Pima Fire Department:

Members of the Gila District, AZ DFFM and Pima Fire Department standing in front of a fire engine in front of the Pima Fire Department.
From left to right; AZ Department of Forest Fire Management, Assistant Fire Management Officer, Lehi Viscaino; BLM, Assistant Fire Management Officer, Lathe Evans; BLM, Fire Management Officer, Damon McRae; Pima Fire Chief, Scott Howell; BLM, Engine Captain, Nick Bazso; BLM, Safford Assistant Field Manager, Roberta Lopez; Pima Deputy Chief, Daryl Weech.