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Only a wind shift saved Beaver Valley and Whispering Pines from the Water Wheel Fire, but neither Payson nor Gila County have adopted firewise building codes.

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Wildfire lessons ignored

Payson, Gila County ignore danger in building codes despite lessons of Yarnell

Payson and Gila County have both balked at adopting firewise building standards, despite the rising danger of catastrophic wildfires like the one that devoured much of Yarnell and killed 19 firefighters trying to protect the community.

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