Because of the rain that helped stop the Five Mile Fire, the Pine-Strawberry Fire Department has once again lifted the special hazard restrictions. You can now run your power equipment and welding torches, fire up the charcoal grill and sit around your outdoor firepit.
Residents are urged to use caution as the forest is still dry and without some more rains, we could go back into restrictions yet again. The fire department will not be issuing burn permits until the area receives more rain.
Many residents have asked the P-S Fire Department why the community alert system was not used during the Five Mile Fire.
If the fire department or the emergency preparedness task force had sounded one siren or all sirens, the message is to tune your radio to 1420 AM for further instructions.
In this case, the only siren that would have been used is the one in Pine Creek Canyon. If there is a community-wide emergency or a perceived threat, such as a black column of smoke rising just north of Strawberry, the fire department and the task force volunteers ask you to please tune in to KMOG for updates. This keeps phone lines free for emergencies.
One of the main functions of the emergency task force is to get the information to those who need it most.
For those of you interested in just how an emergency is handled in Pine-Strawberry, the task force meets at 7 p.m., the second Monday of each month, in the meeting room at the fire department on Hardscrabble Road in Pine.
This all-volunteer group has been meeting and training for several years in the event of a community-wide disaster.
The spotlight theme this month at the Pine Library is "Tips for Strengthening Families." This collection includes more than 80 new books recently donated by Gila County on the topic of families.
Those books contain great information like how to talk to your baby, teenager or spouse (surprising similarities); or how to parent, how to help the kids survive the divorce, pregnancy, drugs and many other tough and tender topics.
Northern Gila County Fair
Sept.19 is just around the corner. That is the day you are expected to truck down to the Cultural Hall at the Community Center with the best of your best to enter into this year's Northern Gila County Fair.
The fair is Friday, Saturday and Sunday with activities happening at the Community Center on the Beeline Highway, and at the County Barn on Old County Road and Bradshaw.
This fair is small-town life at it's best; jams, jellies, photos, fruits, vegetables, flowers, quilts and cakes take center stage for the best show in town.
From noon to 6 p.m., Thursday volunteers will be checking in your entries.
For rules and categories, grab a fair book at the Payson or Pine libraries. Then the doors are shut and the judge's rule.
Coveted ribbons for Judge's Choice and Best of Show will be on display as the doors open Friday morning to an expectant crowd.
Being there, for the triumph, the bragging and even the disappointments bring us closer to the character that keeps us living and celebrating in this community together.
Thanks for the years of production to our co-chairs Walt and Willene Smith. We will miss you and forever treasure the gifts you have given us.