This letter is in regard to the prescribed burn of the Gibson Creek/Lower Round Valley area in the Tonto National Forest.
First of all, we must inform you how much we enjoy and love this area. We bought this property in the late '70s with the intention of retiring to the Round Valley area, which we did a couple of years ago.
We love the scenic hills with the green trees, the riparian area with the wildlife, and the quiet, calmness of our valley.
We strongly object to the prescribed burning of the Gibson Creek area for the following reasons:
The worry of a prescribed burn getting out of control, due to prevailing winds during the fall, winter and springtime, and destroying homes and property.
The ash, embers and smoke would not only be harmful to the health of all of us in the neighborhood, but also harmful to the wildlife.
The mosaic burning would leave terrible ugly scars on the land for years.
The confusion of fire trucks and firefighters would take away the quietness of our neighborhood.
The chemicals, machinery and foot-traffic used for this prescribed burn could damage the fragile ecosystem.
With all the noise and foot-traffic in the forest, the birds and animals would be disrupted in our valley, threatening them to seek other places to live.
We understand that one of the main reasons for this burn is to control the chaparral vegetation and juniper woodland that is so highly flammable. We suggest that the Forest Service do a controlled burn outside the treatment area (which encircles Gibson Ranch/Lower Round Valley) as a preventive measure. Burning inside the treatment area is highly unacceptable.
If the Forest Service has to burn inside the treatment area, we suggest that they stay 200 yards from private property and 200 yards from the Gibson Creek area. If the prescribed burn gets out of control and destroys homes and property, who is liable for this destruction? Remember Los Alamos?
Jim and Mary Strong, Payson