In June of 2011, an Arizona community thought they were going to lose everything. A very dry winter had left plant life tinder-dry and with winds gusting over 50 miles per hour, the stage had been set for a "perfect storm" in the Sierra Vista area. Nicknamed the Monument Fire, the blaze started in the Coronado National Monument at the southern tip of the Huachuca Mountains near the Mexican border. It spread quickly to the north through canyons near the Sierra Vista.
At one point the fire crossed Arizona State Route 92 and headed for Hereford, an area that has about 3,200 homes. Police and fire officials swarmed neighborhoods in the area with sirens blaring and officers on speakers imploring, "You've gotta get out now." In the panic to evacuate, people left most of their belongings behind. Keepsakes, photo albums and other irreplaceable mementos reluctantly left in the path of the Monument Fire.
The fire soon entered the quiet subdivision of Wild Horse in Hereford. It threatened the entire community and burned everything - except for the homes. The brave firefighters of the Palominas Fire District along with many other firefighters were able to keep the fire from burning a single home in the Wild Horse community.
The Monument Fire lasted about a week and destroyed nearly 40 homes and businesses. The community of Wild Horse wanted to offer more than thanks to the Palominas Fire District for their amazing efforts. After some discussion, they settled on an LED sign that would assist both the fire district and the communities they served. An account was set up so that anyone in the community could donate and after just a short time, the donations proved enough for their goal! They worked with their Stewart Signs consultant to design a sign that best suited their needs. Now the fire district can display messages for the community to help remind and warn residents of fires and fire dangers.