Pine/Strawberry Given Firewise Recognition

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Because of its efforts to reduce the vulnerability of homes and landscapes to wildfire, Portal IV subdivision, in Pine, has earned Firewise Communities/USA recognition from the National Firewise Communities Program.

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Firewise Communities/USA recognition was given to Pine/Strawberry Saturday. Pictured left to right are Scott Hunt, Arizona State Land Department; Lee Ann Beery, Arizona State Land Department, Capt. Mike Brandt of the Pine Strawberry Fire Department, Richard Anslow of the Portal IV Firewise Committee, Chief Dekker of the Pine Strawberry Fire Department, Rose Harper of the Pine Strawberry Fire Board, Jessica Barnett of the Pine Strawberry Fire Board and Forest McCoy of the Pine Strawberry Fire Board.

The Portal IV community becomes the second community in Gila County to receive Firewise Communities/USA recognition and the tenth community in the State of Arizona. Scott Hunt, Phoenix District Forester from the Arizona State Land Department and members of the Pine Strawberry Fire Department were on hand to present the award to the community on Saturday December 9th, at their homeowners association meeting.

Portal IV residents worked with personnel from the Forestry Division of the Arizona State Land Department, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension and the Pine Strawberry Fire Department, to have a community wildfire hazard assessment completed.

Residents then developed a management plan and set community goals to start mitigating wildfire concerns.

"Achieving recognition from the National Firewise Communities Program is a great accomplishment. The residents and Firewise Committee members of Portal IV are working very hard, and making a commitment, to improve their community's survival in the event of a wildfire," said Lee Ann Beery, Forester with the Arizona State Land Department.

Firewise Communities/USA is a part of the National Firewise Communities Program, an interagency program designed to encourage local solutions for wildfire safety by involving homeowners, community leaders, planners, developers, firefighters and others in the effort to protect people and property from the risk of wildfire.

"Receiving Firewise Communities/USA recognition does not mean a community is ‘Fire-proof,'" Beery said. "It means this community has acknowledged the high potential for wildfire to threaten them and they are making efforts to prepare their homes and property before there is smoke in the air."

For more information on Firewise principles or how your community can receive Firewise Communities/USA recognition, visit www.firewise.org.

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