The Pine Strawberry Fuel Reduction committee’s brush pickup program wrapped up collections in Zone 2 late last week and operators are currently working in Zone 3, which is the area south of Hardscrabble Road and east of Beeline Highway.
Committee members remind homeowners that there will be only one pickup in each zone this summer.
So, be punctual in piling your brush for pickup.
During the pickup in Portals III of Zone 2, workers on the brush truck said the pickup process was slowed due to the huge volumes set out for collection.
The Fuel Reduction Committee will hold its next public meeting at 2 p.m., Saturday, July 26, in the Pine Cultural Hall.
“We will go over our finances, our fundraisers, the progress on the work being done on the trails, the upcoming September mountain bike race, and the progress of the brush pickup,” said committee chairman Mel Palmer.
Call the committee’s hotline at (928) 970-0713 for more information.
Pine Strawberry Fuel Reduction volunteers will continue their work on improving the Arizona Trail tomorrow, Saturday, July 19.
Work begins at 8 a.m. and will continue until noon.
The morning is being designated a “major work event” and lunch will be provided by the fuel reduction committee. Volunteers should bring their own water and meet at the Pine Trailhead south of town.
A session will also be held from 8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, July 26.
ADOT, guild to meet
Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) officials say they will meet Aug. 8 with members of the Pine Strawberry Arts and Crafts Guild to discuss on how to rectify parking problems incurred during the July 4 arts and crafts show after ADOT banned parking alongside both sides of Beeline Highway.
The ban prohibited parking 33 feet from the center of the highway, which for decades has been prime parking for those attending the show.
The next guild-sponsored event is the annual fall show Aug. 30 and 31.
Race day for children
Fire on the Rim race organizers are not forgetting the younger set as they plan for the Sept. 12 to 14 events in Pine.
Children will be able to compete in a specials Kids Race at 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 13 and a Kids Camp, set for 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. that same day, will keep children entertained while their parents race.
The children’s course is not the same as the adult course as it will be a lapped race near the start/finish line and the camping area adjacent to the Randall Arena on Bradshaw Drive.
Age groups will determine the number of laps riders will be required to finish.
Awards will be given out and the event is free. Children can register for the race during Kids Camp inside the Randall barn.
For the camp, certified child care specialists will supervise the young campers and entertain them with fun activities. Lunch and snacks will be provided. The fee is $10 per child.
Registration can be completed on the day of the race.
The past weekend, cars, trucks, vans and campers flowed bumper to bumper north and south through Pine prompting many, including myself, to wonder what was behind the sudden spike in traffic.
My queries were answered when a convenience store clerk told me on Saturday that he had sold out his entire firewood supply by early afternoon and was trying to order more.
OK, now I know the reason for the influx of visitors, I told myself.
All campfire and smoking restrictions in the Tonto and Coconino national forests had been lifted.
Tonto officials ended their ban at 8 a.m., Friday, July 11.
The restrictions were no longer needed, officials said, because fire danger had been reduced by increased moisture and humidity from the annual monsoon season.
“Although campfires and smoking will now be allowed throughout the forest, visitors should properly extinguish cigarettes in ashtrays, and ashes in a campfire ring should be cold enough to touch before they are left,” said Tonto Fire Staff Officer Clay Templin.
“Campfires should be put out by drowning with water and stirring with a shovel to ensure the fire is cold.”
Tonto officials called the past fire season a challenging one, but there were only “a small number of human-caused fires.”
Also on Friday, the area of Fossil Creek that had been closed due to fire danger since June 6 opened.
Visitors were reminded that the ban on campfires and charcoal in Fossil Creek was still in force, but that gas stoves are allowed in the area.
On weekends vehicle access into Fossil Creek on Forest Road 708 from Camp Verde and to the Fossil Springs Trailhead parking lot from Strawberry is limited. Only a certain number of vehicles will be allowed entrance in order to keep roads clear for emergency access.
The end of fire restrictions and opening of Fossil Creek should be a boon for the Pine and Strawberry economies.
For more information on the opening of Fossil Creek, call the hotline at (928) 226-4611.
The Friends of Strawberry Patchers is hosting the Sixth Annual “A Beautiful Quilt Auction” on Aug. 9 in the community center.
The event opens at 11 a.m. for both registration and preview. The auction starts at 1 p.m.
Admission is free, but those who donate a can or package of non-perishable food for the local food bank will be entered into a drawing for a quilt.
For more information and forms, call Kris Lovetro at (602) 390-2046.
Board members needed
Pine Strawberry Superintendent/ Principal Cody Barlow is in need of a few good men and women to run for three upcoming vacant seats on the school board. A pair of those seats are for four-year terms and the other is a two-year term.
Barlow is encouraging those concerned with the future of children and public education to get involved by running for one of the school board seats.
Those interested should pick up election packets at the school or call Gila County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Linda O’Dell at (928) 472 5371.
The best meal deal for those 50-years-plus living in the Rim Country might be the meals served at the Pine Strawberry Community Dining Hall. A full meal is $3 for Senior Citizens Affairs Foundation (SCAF) members and $6 for non-members. The salad bar is $2 for members and $3 for non-members.
The menu varies daily. Recent features included scrumptious green chili burros, roasted chicken, pork chops, spaghetti, meatloaf and more.
The dining hall, which was recently refurbished, opens at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.
Also, a “Bingo and Pizza Night” is on the SCAF agenda. It begins at 5 p.m. today, Friday, July 18, in the senior dining room. All SCAF members are welcome.
Call (928) 476-2151 for more information.