CONTACT:    Steve Tripp

                        (602) 307-9504




PRESCOTT, Ariz. (September 20, 2002) -- With increasing awareness of the dangers and impact of wildfires, the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe is actively working to write a Fire Management Plan for its 1,395-acre reservation. The comprehensive plan will determine the effects of fire on the Tribeís biological, geological and cultural resources. It will also incorporate fire prevention efforts, as well as rehabilitation efforts in the event of a fire on the Reservation.

"This summer's wildfires -- especially the one here in Prescott during May -- have reminded us that we need to be vigilant in managing our land," says Ernie Jones, Sr., President of the Tribe. "By instituting this plan, we will make sure we are doing everything we can to prevent wildfires."

The Wildland/Urban Interface project (WUI) is being developed to reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfire on the Reservation. The WUI project will allow for 'defensible space' to be created around homes and structures to minimize the impact of a fire, should one move through the Reservation or the surrounding area. Creating defensible space involves removing dead wood, clearing brush from under decks and close to buildings and cutting "ladder fuels" -- combustible objects that a fire can consume to reach the tops of trees.

An additional initiative in the plan is education. Environmental Committee members will educate residents about ladder fuels, defensible space and other aspects of wildfire prevention. The effect will be to minimize fire dangers throughout the Reservation.

Located adjacent to the central Arizona community of Prescott, approximately one hour north of Phoenix, the Yavapai Prescott Indian Tribe consists of 160 members and occupies a reservation of 1,395 acres. Tribal enterprises, including a business park, shopping center and two casinos, provide more than 2,500 jobs for the local economy.