News Crews, Residents Flock For Fire Information

PINE-STRAWBERRY NEWS

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It is hard to believe that it is barely April and we are worrying about fire. So many people from the Valley who have cabins up here are calling for information.

The word from the Valley TV stations is much more dramatic than from our own local sources.

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Crews have been working this past week to get the Strawberry Schoolhouse in shape for the summer tourist season.

As I write this, we are in good shape. Crews working on the fire line know what they are doing and we are fortunate to have such great support.
An information center has been set up in the Cultural Hall at the Pine Community Center. Volunteers are signing up to work two-hour shifts. The center will be manned from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day until the fire is contained.

You can call this center at (928) 476-3547 for the latest information or to sign up to volunteer.

Both KMOG and KRIM attend the daily briefings of the forest service and report that information immediately and regularly on the air. KMOG radio is found at 1420 AM. RIM has a new transmitter up here so the reception is great. Tune to 98.9 FM for the Pine Strawberry area. From Payson, they can be heard at 96.3 FM.

In spite of fire worries, life does go on here in Pine and Strawberry.

Rim Country Kiwanis is having an Easter Egg Hunt at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 3, at the Pine Trailhead just south of Pine. This is for children ages 0 to 10. Bring a basket or bag for the eggs. Come early as the hunt starts promptly at 10.

Kiwanis Bingo will be back on schedule at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, April 3.

Come meet Linda O'Dell at the community center in Pine under the ramada from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, April 3. She is a candidate for Gila County School Superintendent. You can register to vote while you are there.

The Strawberry Schoolhouse is undergoing some significant restoration. The old chinking between the logs has all been removed and new insulation and sealant inserted. The wood shingled roof has been sprayed with fireproofing and a waterproof sealer will be applied to the outside of the building.

The old porch has been removed and the new, more authentic porch with no railings has been added. Other than the porch, the schoolhouse will look about the same but structurally it is in much better shape and the changes will make it much more able to withstand the elements and it will last a great many more years.

There will be a dedication of the new Fossil Creek Road at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, April 15 at the Strawberry Schoolhouse. There will be lots of dignitaries present so you will not want to miss this. The school will be open during the dedication.

There will be an important fire meeting this Saturday.

We all need to be super careful about fire. If you smoke, put the cigarette out and then take it with you. Then you will know it is out. Hopefully, our Valley visitors will respect our land and this fire danger. But we must lead the way.

A community fire season information meeting will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 3 in the Cultural Hall at the Pine Community Center. Information will be presented concerning the upcoming fire season, the siren alert system and what we need to know in case of an evacuation.here also will be an update on the Webber Fire. Please inform all your neighbors about this important meeting.

Please provide information for this column regarding upcoming events, activities and items of interest to residents and visitors of Pine and Strawberry. Call or fax (928) 476-2239 or e-mail cpwrather@ earthlink.net.

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