Canyon implements wildfire mitigation hazard plan

Fire mitigation work is underway in Canyon as crews are working to reduce the risk of fire spreading (Drew Powell ABC 7 News)

The City of Canyon wasted no time in starting work on enacting a new wildfire mitigation hazard plan. Canyon city manager Randy Criswell tells ABC 7 News the fire mitigation plan is designed to better protect Canyon from a fire.

“This is a program where we are going to be looking outside the city limits asking people to do what we can,” said Randy Criswell, City Manager. “This is all voluntary. We will be looking at areas along the south and to the west side of town.”

“Right now our guys are out there working on the roadside part south of town which the city owns,” said Mike Webb, Canyon Fire Chief. “It’s a good spot to start.”

Dry conditions from the drought have elevated fire danger to new heights.

“It’s definitely better to be prepared and have all the stuff managed beforehand,” said Coleton Bural, Canyon resident. “We don’t want to have to worry about a large fire spreading into the city. In case of an emergency happening it’s a lot better to have that prepared.”

Webb tells ABC 7 News this will be a year round endeavor. If the area gets sufficient rainfall in the months ahead, crews and volunteers will be out working on trimming bushes, cutting down dead trees and working on mowing dead grass. The work is being done to eliminate the risk of fire spreading thanks to fuel brought on by the rains in the spring of 2016 and the fall of 2017.

“We can’t put all our people onto this, it’s going to be some guys that are part time helping and volunteers,” said Webb. “If we don’t have a fire or something at the station we will be out working on mitigation.”

With the passage of the new plan Criswell tells ABC 7 News the city has the resources and the authority to work in the perimeter of Canyon and address the areas that need work done.

“It’s kind of addressing any potential for a fire to enter Canyon and cause damage as well as a fire in Canyon and spreading out into the county,” said Criswell. “There will be authorization forms allowing us onto properties once signed by the land owner to grant us permission to do what our fire department deems necessary.”

Work started this week with the primary areas being to the south and to the west since most of the winds blow into Canyon from those directions.

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