Welcome to the Green Valley Fire District
Our organization values the relationship we have with our communities and works hard to ensure we don’t violate the trust or confidence you have placed in us.
As our customer, we strive to exceed your expectations with every encounter we have. Your input is important to our success, and we value your feedback. My contact information is listed below. Please let me know when we exceed your expectations, or if you have suggestions on how we can continue to improve our service delivery.
Chuck Wunder, MSL, EFO, CFO
Firewise - Reducing Residential Wildfire Risks
The federal, state, and tribal partners of the Southwest Prevention and Information Committee invite you to join us in promoting Southwest Wildfire Awareness Week, March 25-31, 2018. This year’s theme is “Wildfire: It’s not a matter of if, but when. Prepare now.” The focus of the week is to promote actions that prevent human caused wildfire and reduce the risk of wildfire to homes and communities.
Reducing risk of wildfire to homes
The ember threat and the home ignition zone
What are the primary threats to homes during a wildfire?
Research around home destruction vs. home survival in wildfires point to embers and small flames as the main way that the majority of homes ignite in wildfires. Embers are burning pieces of airborne wood and/or vegetation that can be carried more than a mile through the wind can cause spot fires and ignite homes, debris and other objects.
There are methods for homeowners to prepare their homes to withstand ember attacks and minimize the likelihood of flames or surface fire touching the home or any attachments. Experiments, models and post-fire studies have shown homes ignite due to the condition of the home and everything around it, up to 200’ from the foundation. This is called the Home Ignition Zone (HIZ).
What is the Home Ignition Zone?
The concept of the home ignition zone was developed by retired USDA Forest Service fire scientist Jack Cohen in the late 1990s, following some breakthrough experimental research into how homes ignite due to the effects of radiant heat. The HIZ is divided into three zones; immediate, intermediate, and extended.
The home and the area 0-5’ from the furthest attached exterior point of the home; defined as a non-combustible area. Science tells us this is the most important zone to take immediate action on as it is the most vulnerable to embers. START WITH THE HOUSE ITSELF then move into the landscaping section of the Immediate Zone.
- Clean roofs and gutters of dead leaves, debris and pine needles that could catch embers.
- Replace or repair any loose or missing shingles or roof tiles to prevent ember penetration.
- Reduce embers that could pass through vents in the eaves by installing 1/8 inch metal mesh screening.
- Clean debris from exterior attic vents and install 1/8 inch metal mesh screening to reduce embers.
- Repair or replace damaged or loose window screens and any broken windows Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating.
- Move any flammable material away from wall exteriors – mulch, flammable plants, leaves and needles, firewood piles – anything that can burn. Remove anything stored underneath decks or porches
5-30’ from the furthest exterior point of the home. Landscaping/hardscaping- employing careful landscaping or creating breaks that can help influence and decrease fire behavior
- Clear vegetation from under large stationary propane tanks.
- Create fuel breaks with driveways, walkways/paths, patios, and decks.
- Keep lawns and native grasses mowed to a height of four inches.
- Remove ladder fuels (vegetation under trees) so a surface fire cannot reach the crowns. Prune trees up to six to ten feet from the ground; for shorter trees do not exceed 1/3 of the overall tree height.
- Space trees to have a minimum of eighteen feet between crowns with the distance increasing with the percentage of slope.
- Tree placement should be planned to ensure the mature canopy is no closer than ten feet to the edge of the structure.
- Tree and shrubs in this zone should be limited to small clusters of a few each to break up the continuity of the vegetation across the landscape.
30-100 feet, out to 200 feet. Landscaping – the goal here is not to eliminate fire but to interrupt fire’s path and keep flames smaller and on the ground.
- Dispose of heavy accumulations of ground litter/debris.
- Remove dead plant and tree material.
- Remove small conifers growing between mature trees.
- Remove vegetation adjacent to storage sheds or other outbuildings within this area.
- Trees 30 to 60 feet from the home should have at least 12 feet between canopy tops.*
- Trees 60 to 100 feet from the home should have at least 6 feet between the canopy tops.*
Green Valley Fire District - Compassion, Competence and Character
We like to post comments that we receive that reflect the service our members provide to our community. It is our hope, and overarching goal, that we provide the best, most compassionate service possible in each and every call for service we respond to.
“This time yesterday the GVFD was here (Trent Schroeder, Carl Crain, Michael Johnson) to clean up the mess from an uncontrolled fire created in our fire place due to a very stupid, yet common, mistake of not opening the flew before starting the fire. We had planned on burning some dried Rosemary from our yard, there was quite a bit of it that had collected in the fireplace. This is what caused the sudden large flames to quickly become out of control with the flew closed. The fire reached about 4 to 5 feet out of the fireplace, we were able to put it out by closing the grate and throwing a large pan of water into the fireplace. The smoke was about 2 feet thick from the ceiling and totally engulfed the entire living area. We did manage to get doors open to help vent the smoke before the GVFD arrived. The GVFD fighters were wonderful and did their job diligently and to the “T”, especially Carl Crain who was passionately adamant that I (Sheila) stay out front and not leave, of course I did argue with him only because I wanted to be in our back area with my mother and some of our animals to make sure they were okay and felt safe. They made us feel secure and assured us that our other pets were safe under the bed where they were hiding, since the smoke was mainly at ceiling height. They secured the fireplace, opened the flew and made it safe for us to re-enter the house. We have much work to do to clear the residual smoke from the house as it reeks immensely. Michael Johnson tried to clean up the soot left on the fireplace wall, was able to remove some of it. Since my mother and I both suffer from Asthma, they were very concerned about making sure we were okay, insisting we stay outside. Trent Schroeder, the acting captain, took our report patiently and compassionately as we sat in our backyard area. He took the time to make sure we were comfortable, made sure we knew exactly what they would be doing, and assured us constantly that the pets were safe where they were, and after all was done helped in doing a pet check before they left. Trent mentioned that, if we were interested, in a used fire extinguisher he would head back to the FD and check to see if one was available. They did return with one, which we are so very grateful for, as we left ours in the home we sold in Tucson, and had been meaning to stop by GVFD to inquire on what we needed for our home. They also made sure that our smoke detectors were in working order before they left and Trent gave us a flyer on replacement alarms from GVFD, since he noticed that the hall unit was very old, yet still worked, and should be replaced – we are grateful to have that information, as this house was a foreclosure with many, many issues when we purchased March 2017. Thank you to our GREAT firefighters of GVFD who saved our day.”
Graciously, Norma and Sheila Wheeler
Come Join Our Fire Corps Team
Are you looking for something fun to do while helping your fellow Green Valley neighbors stay safe in their homes? Well Fire Corps may be just what you’re looking for!
The continued growth of our wildly successful; smoke alarm and battery replacement programs, rapid entry lock-box installation, desert pest relocation, administrative support for the Fire District, and community fall prevention services have created the need to find more men and women volunteers.
Fire Corps volunteers provide non-emergency support to the Green Valley Fire District saving GVFD over $200,000 each year and have a great time doing it.
Volunteers receive extensive classroom and field training in all functions. There are positions available that will cater to your specific interests and skills. Join our outstanding cadre of friendly, community minded volunteers and help keep Green Valley safe.
To join, call the Green Valley Fire District Community Services Division at 520-625 9438. We would like to talk to you!