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Brush fire flares up feet from Verde Village home
Written by Greg Ruland   
Thursday, 24 June 2010 15:27

A brush fire burned within 20 feet of a Verde Village home shortly before 2 p.m. Thursday, June 24.

Verde Valley Fire District acting Capt. Bruce Hagberg attacks the flames of a wildfire which broke out at a river access point on Commanche Drive at approximately 1:40 p.m. on Thursday, June 24.Verde Valley Fire District responded to the call from 18-year-old Marcus Drazick at his home in the 4000 block of Commanche Drive.

Verde Valley Fire District acting Capt. Bruce Hagberg attacks the flames of a wildfire which broke out at a river access point on Commanche Drive at approximately 1:40 p.m. on Thursday, June 24.Drazick saw the smoke, called 9-1-1 and raced to the back yard to grab a hose. As flames approached, Drazick started watering down an area behind his home where the fire was feeding on a tangle of thick vegetation and broken branches inside a grove of cottonwood trees.

VVFD was on the scene within five minutes of the call, according to 14-year-old Daniel Davis, who was swimming in the nearby Verde River when the fire began.

Mike Clounts, a firefighter and paramedic with Verde Valley Fire District, works among the charred weeds and brush extinguishing the last smoldering piles of a small wildfire which threatened a home in the 4000 block of Verde Village roadway Thursday, June 24.“We were swimming and saw six kids near the place where the fire started. They were smoking,” Davis said. “I don’t know what they were smoking.”

Verde Valley Fire District firefighters Mike Clounts, left, and Dave McIlvoy extinguish a wildfire near a river access on Commanche Drive on Thursday, June 24Shortly after the six left the area, Davis and his friend, Sam Ofetelo, 15, said they saw smoke they believed was coming from a small campfire.

“Five minutes later, it was a lot of smoke,” Davis said.

Marcus Drazick, 18, uses a yard hose to try to keep a wildfire near his home from taking over the structure at approximately 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, June 24. Verde Valley Fire District emergency responders arrived on scene moments later to fully extinguish the fire.“We were scared,” Ofetelo said. “We ran right by the flames.”

After Verde Valley Fire District crews arrive to suppress a wildland fire in the 4000 block of Commanche Drive on Thursday, June 24, Marcus Drazick, 18, steps back from attempting to defend his home with a garden hose.At least one engine, a water tender and a utility vehicle were at the scene to douse the flames, leaving an acre of charred ground and black, smoldering tree trunks. No structures were damaged.

Wildfire flames engulf weeds and brush dangerously close to a home in the 4000 block of Commanche Drive on Thursday, June 24 as Verde Valley Fire District emergency responders work to put the fire out on a hot afternoon.The fire was out within 30 minutes, but VVFD left firefighters at the scene to take care of hot spots and to make sure the fire did not flare up again.

“I’m very upset that these kids have no respect and don’t obey the signs,” homeowner Danielle Drazick said. “We don’t mind sharing the nature we have back here with people, but when they start fires and leave garbage that we have to pick up we get pretty unhappy about it.”

“This fire came pretty close to our house,” Drazick said. “Too close for comfort.”

VVFD Fire Chief Jerry Doerksen, who was also at the scene, said the wildfire was evidence of how important it is to maintain defensible space around a house.

“If they’d gotten in there with a weed eater and knocked all those weeds down, they probably would have just had little itty bitty flames to deal with,” Doerksen said.

Verde Valley Fire District firefighters attack the flames of a wildfire which broke out at a river access point on Commanche Drive at approximately 1:40 p.m. on Thursday, June 24.Cottonwood Utilities Operation Manager Michael McCarbery, who was also at the scene, said a fire hydrant installed in 2009 was used to help battle the fire. It was the first time the unit was used, McCarbery said.

Verde Valley Fire District firefighter Dave McIlvoy extinguishes a wildfire near a river access on Commanche Drive on Thursday, June 24.“I’m just here to make sure the firefighters and the residents get the water they need,” McCarbery said. “Everything went smoothly.”

 

Verde Valley Weather

Fair

58°F

Cottonwood, AZ

Fair
Wednesday
Sunny
53°F / 83°F
Thursday
Sunny
52°F / 85°F
Friday
Sunny
54°F / 85°F

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