The reach of the 2002 Rodeo-Chediski Fire continues to expand and bring back good things to the Rim country.
Shell Oil Products, along with Arizona State Representative Jake Flake (R-Snowflake), has made a $30,000 contribution to four local fire districts devastated by the Rodeo-Chediski Fire including $7,500 earmarked for the Forest Lakes Fire District.
"I was delighted and surprised to hear about it," said Keith Scholl, chief administrator for the Forest Lakes Fire Department. "It's a real godsend to us. We have a very small department, and we really depend on donations for a lot of our extra equipment."
The Forest Lakes Fire Department has an all-volunteer team of 36 firefighters and its own rope-rescue team. It also operates two ambulances that service the area's highways and campgrounds.
"Any extra equipment we can get our hands on is greatly appreciated," Scholl said. "Communications equipment is our big need right now, so we're very grateful to Shell Oil for that money. We're ecstatic."
The donations were formally presented in a ceremony at the Heber-Overgaard fire district Oct. 1.
Shell Oil Products, headquartered in Houston, Texas, will make the donations to the Clay Springs-Pinedale, Heber-Overgaard, Linden, and Forest Lakes Fire Districts. Each District will receive $7,500.
Flake worked closely with Shell representatives to support local fire districts whose locations and familiarity with the area make them significantly better prepared to fight and contain forest fires.
"We all realize the impact of these fires would have been much greater had it not been for the brave men and women of the these Fire Districts. We are all grateful and Shell is proud to support the recovery efforts," said Cameron Smyth, Corporate Affairs Manager for Shell Oil.
"This is not just a donation; it's a recognition of the vital role that local fire districts play in the management of our forests," Flake said.
A huge check was presented to Flake for the districts. Flake then presented the contributions to the individual fire districts at a ceremony in Heber-Overgaard.