As recommended by the Pine-Strawberry fire chief, now is a good time to secure a burn permit and clean up any debris piles.

For new residents and a reminder for others, here are local burning practices provided by Stacy Figueroa, Pine-Strawberry firefighter and educator.

When we aren’t under fire restrictions, residents are allowed to call the fire department for a burn permit/inspection. With that permit you can:

1. Burn brush, yard debris and vegetation. No trash or construction materials.

2. Burn within the permitted burning hours, which are indicated on your permit.

3. You must call to have your permit re-issued after it has expired.

4. When inspected, you must have your proper burn area ready with at least three feet of clearing around your pit/pile and nothing hanging over it. No burn barrels permitted.

5. You must have a working and connected hose or water source at the burn location ready for use.

6. Someone must always tend to the fire. Never leave your burn unattended.

7. When finished, put your fire out. If your pile of ash is too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave unattended.

For those of you who don’t burn your yard debris, please be aware that with damp vegetation, these burn permits can cause a lot of smoke. If you’re unsure of someone having a permit, burning properly, or if worried something else is burning, call your closest fire station to find out.

For a permit or to report in Pine call 928-476-4272 and in Strawberry 928-476-2313

This is also the time of year that other agencies (Forest Service, state lands, etc.) manage large prescribed burns that can cause heavy smoke. Please make sure you are signed up with the Gila County emergency notification program, Everbridge, as this is a great service that provides information on these burns. If you haven’t received an alert of a fire to watch and worry about, there is no need to panic. Take this time to prep and get ready for fire season by becoming familiar with the Ready, Set, Go stages. We are ALWAYS in the Ready stage.

Things to do in Pine-Strawberry

I conducted a quick survey of Pine-Strawberry folks on my continuous hunt for weekly material. What do we like about our little hamlet? What is there to do in this rural setting, (a common question from visitors)? Do we dislike some aspects of small town life? Answers are as individual as themselves.


The challenges that come with a limited and remote population.

Specialty doctors being so far away and radio and TV stations being of limited service.

Shopping was the No. 1 complaint. “Being able to buy clothes that not everyone is wearing,” was said more than a few times. Costco was mentioned a few times, and other shopping needs that are best met in bigger cities.

Affordable housing is a struggle.

Possible solutions? Check out the local medical clinic, use the internet, and if you need to shop, the thrift store is truly a hidden gem of unique clothing.


The dislikes were far outweighed by the activities that people enjoy, including being outside.

Whether people are walking, hiking, biking or riding, it seems unanimous the ideal thing to do is — just to do it outside. That we have four seasons to enjoy, that we can see wildlife, and that we have so much forest to play in were said with enthusiasm by many.

Humanity and the sharing of ourselves is still the No. 1 reason people give for loving this community.

“I have been truly blessed to have met so many great people over the years,” said John Lewin

“Love an amazing community who supports each other,” said Dawn Porter.

“We love the community and how people come together when there is someone in need,” said Jamie Rains.

A community of people who support each other, our local charities, and our local businesses.

“... it feels like a little Hallmark town,” said Tammy L’Hoste.

The descriptors went on, but this one, just after many of us have binged a Hallmark channel movie hit home. We often watch these shows that follow a traditional storyline — person with hidden secret or problem runs away to some small town where no one knows them, discovers a community in the small town more than willing to help, ending in love and friendship all around.

We live in that community, our friends and neighbors write that script every day.

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