7/12/2013 6:01:00 AM UNITED WE STAND Contractors association, county help with the rebuilding efforts in Yarnell
Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier The American Flag flies at half staff at the home of Stephan and Donna Holloway that burned in the Yarnell Hill fire but their thoughts are with the families of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who died trying to stop the fire.
Ken Hedler The Daily Courier
The Yavapai County Contractors Association and Yavapai County Development Services will work to help residents in fire-ravaged Yarnell south of Prescott rebuild their homes - and their lives.
"We will be involved in the rebuilding efforts and coordination to ensure that these families and businesses are given the respect that they deserve," said Sandy Griffis, executive director of YCCA, which has more than 300 members. "I think working together with Yavapai County Development Services we can make this a smooth process."
Development Services is putting together a plan to expedite issuance of permits to rebuild homes, said Director Steve Mauk, who spent time in Yarnell this week. "It is our job and our responsibility to the citizens of Yarnell to make it go as smooth as possible. We have done all our assessments."
The lightning-sparked Yarnell Hill fire destroyed 109 homes, and did major damage to two homes and minor damage to 21 dwellings, the Courier previously reported. Nineteen members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots of the Prescott Fire Department died while trying to defend Yarnell and its environs June 30.
Yarnell residents will be allowed to rebuild a legal, noncomforming structure if it were legal at the time of the original construction, Mauk said.
"For instance, if some had a mobile home in a site-built home area, they would have the right to rebuild it," he said.
However, Mauk said it would be "premature" to say whether Development Services would waive fees for building permits.
"I can't comment right now," he said.
Mauk and Griffis also expressed concern about unlicensed contractors flocking to Yarnell.
"The department has offered to vet any contractor to make sure they hold valid Arizona licenses," Mauk said.
Griffis said, "We will work to educate them on the use of licensed contractors. We will work with them on the use of licensed contractors and put together planned conference meetings to answer any of their questions on the rebuilding process, what kind of contractors they do need, where do they get them from."
She said YCCA might set up a temporary office in Yarnell in conjunction with Development Services, and perhaps visit one day a week to meet with residents.
"We take our responsibility very seriously," Griffis said. "We need to address the challenges faced by the homeowners and businessmen that have suffered losses, and we need to provide consumer protection at the same time."
Griffis said YCCA is worried about scam artists preying on Yarnell. She added the rebuilding issue might be on the agenda when the YCCA board meets July 23.