P-S Fire Department Has Cutting Edge Wildfire Management Tool

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Pine and Strawberry reserve firefighter and EMT Jay Wailes is the "guy to go to" if you want the low down on RedZone.

That's because, he is now the firefighter in charge of the software program, also know as RZ23, in our mountain hamlets. Much of the expertise he uses in implementing RedZone was gathered during his stint with the property fuel assessment and brush removal programs offered by the PS Fire Department.

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Pine librarians Becky Waer and Ann Pendleton get ready to mail library surveys to area property owners about staff, services, programs and a new library building.

RedZone is a computer mapping program that can be installed and used on a laptop PC. In jump starting RZ23, Wailes began with a map of Gila County and then input data from our area into the soft ware. Much of the information he used was collected during property fuel assessments. It included valuable data, such as type of construction, street and cross streets, surrounding hazards, and nearest water sources.

In the event of a structure or wildfire, RedZone saves valuable time in reaching and fighting the blaze.

Marci Linton, emergency services sheriff, Boulder County, Colo. said of the program, "it emphasizes situation awareness on every incident. It's about making sense of a complex and hectic situation as fast as possible.

"RedZone mapping software is a definite asset to incident command when we need to quickly sort it all out and make effective tactical decisions.

"RedZone lets us immediately collect and overlay GPS data with existing jurisdiction, ownership, topographic and aerial data.

"We can create and print accurate and dynamic maps during the early stages of an incident and take the guesswork out of our initial attack."

PS Fire Department has this program up and running, with more information added daily.

Crews pick up over 40 tons of brush

An important part of fire prevention is keeping our yards clear of brush, leaves and pine needles.

PS Fire Department crews estimate they pick up more than 40 tons of brush a month. Now that the weather is clearing, the crews have resumed brush pickup. There is no need to call for brush removal.

The crews work a rotating system -- pickups are scheduled for Monday through Wednesday

Volunteer of the Year

Take Pride Project of Pine and Strawberry is accepting nominations for the Pine and Strawberry Volunteer Year award. The nominee must be a resident of Pine or Strawberry, and of course, work free of charge.

We have many volunteers worthy of this award.

If you have a favorite, send a letter stating why you feel your nominee should be chosen, to: Ira Gibel, Take Pride Project, P. O. Box 1204, Pine, AZ 85544. The deadline is March 22.

The Take Pride group has changed their meetings to the fourth Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. at the Senior Center Dining Room.

Library survey mailed

In an effort to better serve residents and visitors to our communities, the Pine Library recently mailed a survey to all its patrons and property owners in the Pine/Strawberry area.

If you did not receive one and would like to complete the survey, please stop by the library and pick one up. Or, you can go to their online site: http://pinelibrary. inpayson.com and you can print a copy from there.

The library would like to thank all those who have taken the time to complete the survey and share their thoughts on the library.

You can either drop off the completed survey at the library or return it in the stamped envelope that came with the survey. Call (928) 476-3678 if you have questions.

March Madness

If you are looking for activities for the kids during spring break, the ever-popular "Movie Madness" returns March 13 to the Pine library. A children's movie, title to be announced later, will be shown at 11 a.m., complete with snacks.

Also, the Pine library is offering a drawing class March 14 for home-schooled children ages 8 to 12 years. There is no charge for the class and, materials will be provided.

The class will be held in the library activity room, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Enrollment is limited to 25 home-schooled students.

To enroll, stop by the Pine library or call (928) 476-3678.

Throughout the month of March in the library, there will be a special exhibit to honor Dr. Seuss' birthday. Visit the library and check out the array of Dr. Seuss books, movies, games and learning activities.

~Kay Foster is a columnist for the Payson Roundup. Contact her with items for this column at (928) 476-2788 or e-mail fosterkay@msn.com.

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