Gila County Supervisor Mike Pastor on Saturday will hold his first community meeting in Gisela, the northern most section of his district.
He’s hoping residents will bring any questions or concerns they have about the county, Deer Creek, Gisela or Rye.
Pastor said he expects the discussion will include the recent fire in Rye and concerns about fire protection in the area.
Many Deer Creek residents didn’t even realize they have no real fire protection when a home burned down there a year ago. Crews came from Payson and Gisela to fight that blaze, although they have no responsibility for the area. Response times were long enough that crews could do little to save the house, but instead focused mostly on keeping the flames from spreading to other houses or the surrounding chaparral.
The huge fire in a bicycle and auto storage, sales and scrap operation that destroyed several adjoining mobile homes raised the dangers posed by the lack of fire protection afresh. The area has no fire hydrants, cohesive water system or storage to supply firefighters with water. Instead, the engines that responded from surrounding fire departments had to rely on 3,000-gallon tanker trucks, which had to drive to Payson repeatedly to fill up.
Recently, the county placed a water bladder in Rye to help protect the community.
Pastor said the timing of the meeting is serendipitous and was scheduled well before the fire.
“I had been in contact with a Gisela resident about setting up a meeting since I had never come out there before,” he said.
Pastor said he is holding meetings throughout his district — meet and greet gatherings with residents since starting his second term in office.
In August, he has a meeting planned in the Young area.
Pastor said he hopes residents will attend and voice their questions and concerns.
“I hope to have some answers and if I don’t, I’ll follow up,” he said.
The meeting takes place July 13 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Gisela Community Center.