Enjoy The Rim Country, But Extinguish Your Campfires


It is really warming up outside and starting to feel like spring.

The other day I was shopping at Wal-Mart and looking for new patio furniture. I wanted to buy some plants and vegetables so bad, but I remember how it never fails that we get a frost or maybe even some snow right before May. I try and tell myself to wait until Memorial Day. That is kind of hard when you see all the colorful plants on display.

I ran in to Stan Szczepanski and he was buying petunias. I told him I hope they survive, but Stan is an expert on flowers and vegetables. Let's see if he is right this year. I still did not buy any plants yet, Stan.

As the weather gets warmer in the Valley there will be hundreds of people coming up to the Rim Country to escape the heat. Many of these people will be camping in the forest, and some of them will not have the respect for the beauty the surrounds us.

As has happened in the past, some guests will leave their campsite without totally extinguishing their campfire.

With the winds picking up, it would not take much for another forest fire.

Even though we have had a lot of moisture over the winter, we are not safe.

As you drive from Christopher Creek to Payson, look in the forest and you will notice how many dead trees are down. What you can't see is the pine needles that have packed in over many years and as you walk in the forest they are still dry and they crunch. That makes the fuels on the grounds of the forest just sitting waiting to ignite.

Right now fire danger is marked at moderate, not low, so now is the time for all of us to clean up our lots and become firewise.

The fuel reduction grant is in full-swing thanks to Sam and Caren Seay. You can pick up an application for assessment of your property at the fire station. They are self-explanatory; so don't waste any time getting in on this grant.

Lighting another candle

My friend Bob Conklin will be adding another candle to his cake April 12. He has been recovering from his appendix bursting and it has not been fun, so now is the time to go out and celebrate "Sparky."

Wilene Byrne will be celebrating on April 17.

Art Guevara of Hunter Creek will have another birthday on April 20, as will Jo Armistead of Hunter Creek, she will celebrate on April 24.

Bobby Jones will add another candle to his cake on April 27.

Susan Keown of ERA will have another birthday on April 28. (Susan and I are both allergic to the juniper pollen that is out this time of year, so I am not sure if she feels like celebrating. Go for it anyhow, girl!)

Dale Ashby has another birthday to celebrate on April 29.

Wishing all of you a happy birthday.


Debbie Ashbrennar, owner of Tall Pines Market would like to let everyone know that there is a petition to give Scotty VanEckhoutte a six-month chance as fire chief.

He has been with the department for 10-plus years and they would like to see the board hire within.

If you would like to sign the petition please stop at the store.

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