Fires Damage Cabin, Motor Home

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Five separate fires over the holiday weekend resulted in the loss of a rental cabin, a motor home and storage shed, and in Christopher Creek a downed power line left some residents without electricity for hours.

The Pine-Strawberry Fire Department along with deputies from the Gila County Sheriff's Office responded to a structure fire at 3257 N. Hunt Lane in Pine Saturday night, Fire Chief Bob Lashua said.

"The shed was completely engulfed by the time we arrived," Lashua said.

He said the shed was a total loss, and a motor home parked next to the shed suffered significant damage.

Lashua said the fire was contained to the storage shed and motor home, about 10-to-12 feet from the main residence.

Lashua didn't have an estimate of the monetary damage the fire caused, but said the shed was a total loss and the motor home suffered significant damage.

"The cause of the fire is as yet undetermined, but the homeowner said he had been using a propane heater in the shed when he was working in it earlier, so that may have caused it," Lashua said.

There were no injuries as a result of the fire and no other structures were threatened or damaged.

Rental cabin burns

The Christopher Kohl's Fire Department, Tonto Village Fire Department and Diamond Star Fire Department responded to a cabin fire Friday at the Christopher Creek Lodge.

A spokesperson for Christopher Kohl's Fire Department said the fire was concentrated in a single rental cabin.

The occupants were in town with their pets and not home at the time of the fire.

The spokesman said the cause is not known yet, but that the fire was contained to the cabin itself.

No one was hurt in the fire and damages have not been estimated yet, the spokesperson said.

"We are still open for business," Nancy Acheson, owner of Christopher Creek Lodge, said.

She said only one of the nine cabins she and her husband have next to Christopher Creek were lost in the fire.

"We still have our other nine in a wooded area, and the motel is open, as well as the remaining cabins by the creek," Acheson said.

One other cabin was charred a little on the outside, but sustained no real damage, she said.

Downed power line starts fire near Christopher Creek

Winds toppled over a tree, sending it into a power line and starting a fire in Christopher Creek last Saturday.

"When the tree fell into the power line, it hit the transformer, causing it to arc and start a small fire," Lt. Tim Scott with the Gila County Sheriff's Office said.

The Christopher Kohl's Fire Department, Diamond Star Fire Department and Tonto Village Fire Department responded and were able to put the fire out in a short time.

The fire was in the area of Apple Ashby Lane, Scott said.

He said power to some residents in the area had to be shut down for up to seven hours.

As soon as APS was able to restring the line, power was restored to customers, he said. No one was injured in the fire and damage was minimal.

Prescribed burns create smoky conditions in Rim Country

Forest officials with the Black Mesa Ranger District are conducting prescribed burns in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest.

The burns began on Tuesday and will continue through today.

Smoke from the burns could be seen from Payson on Wednesday morning.

"The location of the prescribed burn will be approximately eight-to-nine miles northwest of Forest Lakes," John Manthei, with the Black Mesa Ranger District said.

"Smoke will be visible from Highway 260," he added.

Two fires on Highway 87

Two fires along southbound Highway 87 between milepost markers 233 and 239, about 20 miles south of Payson, Saturday afternoon caused minimal traffic restrictions.

Capt. Dan Bramble, with the Payson Fire Department, said the fires were about a mile and a half apart in the median.

"We responded to those fires and were able to put them out very quickly," he said.

Bramble said the cause of the fires is undetermined, but speculated they may have been sparked by a hot muffler.

No one was injured.

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