Smoke Blankets Pine-Strawberry

PINE-STRAWBERRY

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Prescribed burning north of Pine-Strawberry brought a thick blanket of smoke to the valley floors and is generating lots of questions to the local chamber of commerce and businesses.

Forest Service firefighters are burning slash left over from a logging project west of the Highway 260 and Highway 87 junction, about 8 miles north of Pine.

Tuesday, they burned about 50 acres and Wednesday they burned another 100 acres, said Jeanne Gilbertson, information officer for the Mogollon Ranger District.

If the weather is good, she said, it's likely that they will burn again next week.

Burning at this time of year is an important tool for firefighters. With cooler temperatures, fires are less likely to get into the trees and spread.

Cleaning up brush, dead trees and slash (debris left from logging) helps prevent larger uncontrollable fires during our traditional fire season.

At night, the smoke will settle into the low spots, creating fog-like atmospheres in Pine and Strawberry.

Pony Express rides again

An annual tradition rode through Pine Wednesday afternoon.

The Hashknife riders brought the Old West to life by carrying mail from Holbrook to Scottsdale, Pony Express-style.

Greeted by about 50 fans, four buckskin-clad riders galloped into Pine as the Pine-Strawberry Band played the "William Tell Overture."

Children of all ages donned cowboy hats and chaps posing for pictures with the riders.

The cowboys passed out bandannas resembling the state flag and bearing the historic Hashknife brand.

The band entertained onlookers and riders to the beat of "Rock Around the Clock" and "Magnificent Seven."

Library friends

The Pine library reminds everyone that it is a great resource.

There is Internet service available for traveling guests or residents without Internet access at home.

Tuesdays, the library stays open until 7 p.m. to accommodate working folks and at 10 a.m. every Wednesday, there is a weekly story hour for home-schooled students and preschoolers.

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