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Coconino County, AZ – Concerns regarding very dry conditions and the impending Wild Land Fire Season are on the minds of many community members who live in cities and unincorporated areas throughout Coconino County. The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, Flagstaff Police Department, and the US Forest Service are offering “Woods Watch” training and orientation. This volunteer program is similar to Neighborhood Watch and is of vital importance in residential areas that interface with forested land. Volunteers are trained to assist local officials in watching for and properly reporting people accessing closed areas or people who are using fire carelessly or against fire restrictions, especially on forested lands.
Woods Watch has been very successful in years past. Volunteers assist Northern Arizona law enforcement officers in watching access points to the forest. By providing additional sets of eyes in our community, Woods Watch Volunteers assist law enforcement officers in keeping unlawful fire activity under check. With the extremely dry and windy conditions our communities often experience, a fire start may spread very quickly endangering lives and property.
This year, we are offering Woods Watch re-certification and new volunteer training on Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at 6:00 pm at the Law Enforcement Administration Facility located at 911 E. Sawmill Rd. Citizens who have attended this training in previous years are asked to attend again as a review and to receive updated information. The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office will also provide Woods Watch training to our established volunteer groups such as Search and Rescue, existing Neighborhood Watch Programs, and CERT during their regular meetings. The training takes approximately one hour.
The Woods Watch Program is a commitment to join local law enforcement officers with community members to keep our communities and our forests beautiful, safe and free of wild land fires. For any additional questions or information, please contact Gerry Blair of the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office at 928-226-5089 or Sergeant Margaret Bentzen at 928-556-2300.
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Media Contact: Gerry Blair, Coconino County Sheriff's Office, 928-226-5089