Christopher Creek Area Saved By Local Firefighters

CHRISTOPHER CREEK

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Lightning ignited a fire in the Tonto National Forest near the Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery at 5 p.m. Thursday, June 23. This fire started as a one acre fire. The fire department fought it vigorously without any breaks against some 36 mph winds well into the night, continuously asking for help.

Help finally arrived. Two hundred twenty personnel struggled to contain this fire, and around 9 p.m. Saturday, June 25 it was 25 percent contained. More than 220 acres had been burned. Four Hot Shot crews, three type 2 fire response crews, and five engines along with helicopter crews took care of the job.

The fire was burning ponderosa pines and shrubby vegetation. Much of the Zane fire burned within the 1990 Dude Fire, which also was started by lightning. The fire was west of the old Zane Grey Cabin.

Many thanks go out to the firefighters who worked so hard to contain this fire. Christopher/Kohl's Fire Department had nine volunteers on the fire line and three medical personnel standing by.

Many of these volunteers worked all night and well into the next day. This is a group of dedicated individuals who belong to our department, and to Tonto Village, Diamond Star, Show Low and Eagar fire departments. We would like to thank them for their hard work and dedication.

Chief Ray Larsen would like to thank Mark Tiffany of the Forest Service and his expert crew who saved Zane Grey Estates, Meads Ranch and Collins Ranch from a disaster. Thanks to Sandy and Jack Kalmar who got a call around 1 a.m. that they were in need of food and water.

Viki Grootegoed, Margie Larsen and Sandy Kalmar came up with enough food to make 25 sandwiches and take two cases of water and ice to the scene. Thank goodness they have well-stocked refrigerators.

Sandy headed out early the next day to stock up on food and supplies, but luckily the Forest Service took over with hot meals. The Firebelles donated all food and supplies. They would like to thank Bashas' for taking $25 off the bill for the firefighters.

Lets all remember that the danger is not over. The winds have been extremely high and the forest is bone dry. The Fourth of July is this weekend and there will be tons of people staying in this area. Everyone needs to abide by the restrictions.

No burning outside, no smoking outside, pay attention to what is going on around you and remember if someone throws a cigarette out a window call the sheriff with a license number. They will be fined.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the firefighters fighting the Cave Creek Complex fire, may they be able to contain it before it reaches any structures. Thanks to all firefighters who work so hard to keep us safe. Know that your dedication and hard work does not go unnoticed. You are a special breed and we cannot thank you enough.

Congratulations go out to Electra Hamblin who has successfully passed her EMT national registry and to Don Rhodes who has passed his qualified EMT-1 national registry. You will be a great asset to the Christopher/Kohl's Fire Department emergency medical services response.

Don't forget to attend the pancake breakfast at the Christopher/Kohl's Fire Department, 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Saturday, July 2. Prices will be $2 for children and $3.50 for adults.

Then come back to the fire hall from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. for an ice cream social put on by the Firebelles. All proceeds from the social go to the medical education program.

July Birthdays

Christopher Creek residents celebrating birthdays this month include: Don Rhodes (July 8); Patty Boeschling (July 9); Margie Larsen and John Heacock (July 24); Bianca Malmin (July 25); Rebecca Jones and Dewey Malmin (July 29); and Steve Sundra (July 30). Wishing all of you a happy birthday and a Happy Fourth of July.

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