Mesa Del Preps For Fire Season

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Officials in Mesa del Caballo, a community of 350 homes northeast of Payson, plan to begin a fuel reduction program Saturday, June 30 to protect the subdivision from wildland fires.

The Mesa del Caballo Volunteer Fire Department and members of the Community Center will work together to clear brush and small trees from a 132-foot ring of forest land around the community.

"The reason the width is odd is that it's two 'chains,' an old logging measurement that is 66 feet," Mesa del Fire Chief Frank Hansen said.

The project is expected to take a full year to complete. "I would imagine we'll only cover an area about 132-by-150 feet in a day," Hansen said.

Private land inside the community also is included in the program.

"We'll clear private land at no cost, with the owner's consent," Hansen said.

Indepth program details will be presented at an information/organization meeting at 5:30 p.m., Friday, June 29, at the Mesa del Community Center at the corner of Caballero and Mescalero roads. Hansen said that while the meeting is primarily to explain the program, volunteers who want to help are needed and encouraged to attend.

The fire chief emphasized that only crews led and supervised by his department are allowed to cut or clear forestry lands around the community.

Mesa del Caballo is about 1.8 miles east of Highway 87 on Houston Mesa Road.

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