Land and Air Patrols Deploy Across Flagstaff to Defend Against Forest Fires

The threat of forest fires is already running rampant throughout Flagstaff area, after the April Babbitt Fire, which was started by an illegal campfire.

This fire, however, was only one of 43 that officials suspect were due to human negligence, since the start of the year.
Due to the extreme drought, with Flagstaff only receiving 5.02 inches of rain since October 2018, law enforcement officers have started taking preventative efforts by land and air.

Air Patrols
The Flagstaff Police Department started deploying aircraft patrols on Thursday, May 17th, to find and douse a campfire before it becomes problematic.

Currently, Flagstaff is under a fire ban, so having a campfire is illegal, due to the risk of wildfires.
The areal patrols are running in each morning and night, to keep the forest safe from fiery destruction.

Scouting the forest from the air helps law enforcement scour a larger area in a limited amount of time. This helps them to be proactive in defending the forest.  However, that isn’t their only plan of attack.

Land Patrols
In addition to the areal patrols, Woods Watch Volunteers have also been dispatched to the ground. These volunteers guard the forest by keeping a close watch out for suspicious activity and the signs of a possible wildfire.

Woods Watch Volunteers are certified by law enforcement after attending a two-hour training session. Akin to Neighborhood Watch, Wood Watchers work with law enforcement to find and report any activity that could threaten the safety and sanctity of the natural forest.

To close, the fire ban will remain in effect, indefinitely, until law enforcement deems that the threat of wildfire has receded.

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