Just a quick note ahead of what appears to be colder weather coming in this week and we have a lot of new people looking at their first winter in Walker.
It is very important to get your chimney swept or to do it yourself. This becomes a fire hazard if left unattended too long and “too long” can be a little sooner than you might intuitively think.
If your cabin’s plumbing requires winterizing and you haven’t done that yet, we’d suggest getting that taken care of.
We’re seeing mixed weather reports about whether it might snow a little bit this week. We have no idea of course but when the snow starts and begins to accumulate, the roads become surprisingly treacherous. Please drive slower than you think you need to and be on the lookout for people coming up from town or even Phoenix to play in the snow. These sorts of visitors have been the cause of many winter accidents in our area.
Also related to snow, make use of the crushed lava cinders behind the station and at the intersection of Walker Rd and Snow Drift Mine Rd. The cinders are a huge difference maker for improved traction for both vehicles and pedestrians.
One last suggestion is to have crampons or some other type of cleat to put on your shoes. When snow has been driven on here and gets compacted it is very easy to slip and fall. That sort of ground level fall can be very serious.
Thank you and stay safe,
Walker Fire Protection Association
The other day we put out some things to think about for this winter in the event of a very snowy winter. We had some folks send in more suggestions which we wanted to share. If you have other suggestions feel free to comment on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/walkerfiredept/:
1. Get a week or two ahead on any prescriptions you take
2. Have extra food and drinking water on hand
3. If you have water tank, make sure to get it filled b4 any forecasted snow storms
4. Ditto propane
5. Extra gasoline if that’s the type of generator you have
6. A cheap sled for groceries in case you can’t park at your house
7. Get a new snow shovel or two
8. Get crampons for shoes, ground level falls are serious and cheap crampons are as low as $15 on Amazon
August might seem early to start thinking about winter but with so many new people in the area, we wanted to promote increased awareness of some of the challenges to being up here full time in the winter, especially when there’s a lot of snow on the ground.
Speaking of snow, here’s a fun one from The Old Farmer’s Almanac: “If ant hills are high in July, the coming winter will be hard.” At my house and on trails we hike, we’ve seen some pretty big ant hills. It’ll be interesting to see if that idiom turns out to be correct but if it is correct and we do get a heavy snow this winter, we want to remind people that the roads here become very difficult to drive on. Safety requires driving much slower than you’d intuitively think. We strongly recommend chains. This is especially important because we get a lot of people coming here to see or play in the snow which creates more traffic and more chances of encountering someone coming the opposite way who learns at the wrong time that they can’t stop their vehicle.
The county has historically provided crushed lava cinders left in piles in a few places around Walker including behind the firehouse and at the intersection of Walker Rd and Snow Drift Mine Rd. Using cinders will greatly improve traction on your driveway or dicey spots on the road near you. Just down the hill from Mary May on Sheldon Rd is a notoriously difficult spot for example.
Many of us live on roads that are not county maintained so we need to plow them ourselves or have someone plow for us. The fire department will of course attempt to respond to all calls but we can’t set the expectation that we’ll be able to drive through deep, unplowed snow. Most of the full-time resident firefighters have snowshoes and we’ll use them but walking ¼ of a mile or more, wearing snowshoes and carrying medical equipment won’t be quick.
Finally, the power tends to go out in large storms. A few years ago, it was out for a week. If you rely on medical equipment in your home, please don’t wait for the snow to accumulate and the power to then go out. Heed the warnings that we will share via our Facebook page and go stay at a hotel or with friends in town.