The Bear Fire continues to burn in the Price Canyon area and recent estimates place it as consuming over 5,400 acres and sits at 0% containment. Over the past few days there has been a lot of information put out about everything from road closures to evacuation orders. We talked with Helper Mayor Peterman about different reports that have been released and what we can do as citizens to help with the efforts.
Peterman explained that the Federal Government learned a lot during Hurricane Katrina. After that incident occurred they developed a host of processes and procedures that they mandated to the states and authorities across the country for disaster events. She went on to discuss Incident Command.
“In this case Incident Command is the authority, they are the people who will dictate activity, they are the people making the decisions and the rule is we fall into that line. So as the mayor, I can’t trump what Incident Command is saying, Incident Command is the trump card.”
She also explained how if there are evacuations or road closures it would come directly from Incident Command. If an evacuation order is called for, it will go to your phone like an Amber Alert. They would also start knocking on doors. If they do come to your home they will be dressed appropriately and identify themselves.
Another thing people are asking about is donations. Peterman said that the things they need the most right now are water, Gatorade, chapstick, sunscreen, bug spray and baby wipes. Donations are being accepted Thursday, June 10 and Friday June 11 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the fire station in Helper and they will get them delivered.
Lastly, the mayor asked people to please not try to sightsee this fire. By doing that you are putting yourself and the fire crews in danger. They need to have the ability to move freely in the area to carry out their job. If you go to look at the fire you have now put yourself in a situation where the crews have to ensure your safety and that puts more people at risk.
Check back Castle Country Radio for the latest information as it becomes available to us.
Below is the interview with Mayor Lenise Peterman: