Fire Fuels Reduction Project Makes Big Difference

PINE-STRAWBERRY

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My property has just been transformed from densely wooded to a wonderful park, or at least that is what Mike tells me.

Mike Brandt of the Pine Strawberry Fire Department is the coordinator of the Pine Strawberry Fuels Reduction program. The first step is an assessment of your property, informing you of what needs to be done to make the area more fire safe. You have the opportunity to mark the trees you really want to keep. In time, the crew arrives with chain saws and the chipper.

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My house becomes visible as the crew completes the major makeover of my property. In case of fire, my house is now much more likely to survive.

It is hard to see those living trees come down -- but it is amazing how beautiful the remaining trees look, particularly the large old oaks with their wonderful shapes.

The work crew is from the Department of Corrections. These hard-working young men have been educated about this program and trained in the use of the equipment. They know what needs to go and what can stay. These fellows work hard and don't stop until the job is done. They are polite, respectful and such a very nice bunch of guys to have around.

When the work was completed, Mike walked around with me, informing me of my responsibilities in keeping my property fire safe. He also stressed how much easier it would be now to control a fire near my home. I am excited to see these remaining trees flourish now that they do not have to share ground space and moisture with so many other thirsty trees and bushes. All we need now is lots of snow.

Mike Clark, principal of the Pine-Strawberry School, is delighted with the generosity of the people of Pine and Strawberry in the Credit for Kids Program. $51,625 is the amount raised this year for extra programs, books, field trips and so many more wonderful opportunities for our students. There was an increase of almost $6,000 over last year. You can be sure the money will be well spent. Part of it will buy much-needed books for the library. What wonderful, generous people we have living in our communities.

The Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library is changing the night of the week they are open late, from Tuesday to Thursday. The library will not be open Tuesday evening, Jan. 31, but will be open from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2.

Remember that the Pine Strawberry Fire Department is sponsoring a smoke detector promotion during the month of February. The department will send personnel to your home to check your smoke detector and show you how to clean it. If you need one installed, they will do that as well. They have a limited number of smoke detectors available for those who might not have one. If you, or someone you know, do not have a working smoke detector, call the fire department to arrange for a house call.

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

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