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Tuesday Gallery May 1, 2012

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The destruction of this Deer Creek home awakened residents to a lack of fire coverage. A search for solutions has begun.

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Deer Creek faces fire dilemma

Fire awakens residents to lack of protection, but other fire districts leery

After a fire ripped through a home in Deer Creek Village several weeks ago, many residents awoke to their dangerous predicament. Already 20 minutes from the nearest fire station, residents found that none of the neighboring fire departments wanted to send crews to the small community south of Rye. The first firefighters on the scene didn’t arrive for more than half an hour and then only because the U.S. Forest Service invoked its mutual aid pact with other departments to keep the fire from spreading to the forest. Payson, Gisela and Tonto Basin Fire Departments all agree Deer Creek has remained unprotected far too long. Community complacency not only endangers homeowners there, but risks inadequate protection in other communities when firefighters leave to help a neighborhood that has never agreed to pay to protect itself.

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