Severe brush fire causes evacuations
On June 8, 2016, a human-caused brush fire in Yarnell, Arizona began around 3:15 pm quickly exploded into 600 acres due to 20 mph winds. Termed the “Tenderfoot Fire,” the fire burned through three structures by Wednesday night and the Arizona Department of Transportation closed down Highway 89 through the night.
The fire was deemed dangerous after it had knocked out power to 1,050 customers and because it threatened communications equipment used by sheriff’s deputies. “The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office used the CodeRED system from OnSolve to alert the entire town of Yarnell and Peeples Valley to evacuate for precautionary measures.
Residents were directed to head to the Yavapai College campus in Prescott, Arizona. Residents were finally able to return home on June 13, 2016. This situation was especially alarming because of a June 2013 fire that occurred in Yarnell, destroying more than 100 homes and killing 19 Prescott Hot Shot firefighters who were unable to escape a fire storm while attempting to protect the town.
Following the June 2016 fire, Sheriff’s personnel heard from many of the town’s residents who expressed great appreciation for the important notifications from CodeRED. Along with using CodeRED for community safety, the solution has also been utilized in other emergency situations for individual safety. On June 19, 2016, an 86-year-old woman with dementia was reported missing around 6 pm.
The Prescott Police Department used the Yavapai County Sheriff’s CodeRED system to alert residents of the missing woman along with her physical description. The system made over 1,600 calls with a 77% contact rate. The Yavapai County Search and Rescue K-9 team was able to locate the missing woman around 9:45 pm that evening near Willow Lake.
The CodeRED system is a critical resource for the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office. The CodeRED system plays a critical role in providing community members with the latest information and updates.