Community Fire Drill Largely Successful

PINE-STRAWBERRY

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The Community Fire Drill went off without much of a hitch.

"You need to be complimented," Don Howard said to the multi-agency crew after the drill. "I'm impressed with your commitment to this."

Howard was an observer and is the fire chief of the Summit Fire Department near Flagstaff.

More than 50 firefighters and emergency personnel from Whispering Pines, Beaver Valley, Rim Rescue, Payson Fire Department, Gila County, Mesa del Fire Department, the Forest Service, including the Payson Hot Shots, the Pine-Strawberry Fire Department and the Pine-Strawberry Emergency Task Force participated in the drill.

Observers provided feedback to the crews -- most of it positive.

There were some communications issues, but overall, observers felt confident in the area emergency services' ability to pull together and fight a large-scale wildfire.

One of the biggest sticking points is always how to inform the public.

Commanders and emergency personnel felt confident that the community understood the drill, as there were only a couple of calls into the fire department to ask about the sirens.

The concern still remains that all residents are not aware that anytime those sirens sound, the first thing you should do is turn on the radio and tune to 1420 AM. All agencies will be feeding information to the public through the local radio station, which is the primary source of information for any emergency or disaster.

Wildland Fire Meeting

Having just gone over the drill, there will be a meeting from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 5 in the Pine-Strawberry senior dining hall at the Community Center to discuss wildfire.

The Integrated Resource Solutions has been contracted by the USDA Forest Service to gather public input that will be used for the Forest Service's decision-making process when it comes to fire.

Library Info

What if everyone in Arizona read the same book at the same time? The statewide program, OneBook AZ, is featuring "Plainsong" by Kent Haruf in April as this year's selection.

Pine Library is hosting a discussion on this book at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, April 10. Pick up a copy at the library and join in.

The library also is hosting a used book sale from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, April 11, and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 12. The Rim Country Kiwanis will be selling cinnamon rolls and coffee throughout the sale. This is a great place to pick up a stack of inexpensive adventures to keep stashed for a rainy day or a lazy summer afternoon.

Librarian Becky Waer is looking for a few good volunteers. The library is a great place to meet people, make friends and keep up on the best and current good reads.

If you have some time to spare, call Becky at 476-3678.

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