With living in a forest comes risk. Mainly fire. I can’t help but continue to hear of all the warnings coming from the “professionals” to those living here for years about the tinder box that we live in. I for one am all for safety, but I can’t Firewise the whole Tonto National Forest. My geographical location is bounded by the TNF. So let me get this straight, if I Firewise my home I am immune to its (fire) danger?

No, I’m not stupid. The whole town of Payson is within the Tonto National Forest. I agree there are areas more prone to a catastrophic fire incident within Payson proper, however, lets face the facts. We can’t Firewise the millions of acres of the Tonto National Forest. The USFS will sit on its hind end being strapped for cash and environmental impact statements until pigs have wings.

Don’t get me wrong, I have great respect for those who continue to fight fires and enforce the laws of the land. They do a thankless job with what little they have as far as resources. Unfortunately it will be like a stop sign at an intersection, someone will have to be killed to put in a traffic signal.

Take a deep breath and pray we don’t have to go through a catastrophic fire here to get the message to those who turn their heads pretending not to see. I will do the best I can at prevention and that’s all I can do.

Doug Avakian, Payson

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(1) comment

Phil Mason

Doug, it is incumbent on every property owner to reduce the risks on their property.

If each property owner performs simple fire wise interventions, and we DEMAND the imposition of simple forest maintenance on the TNF, Payson CAN become an island of safety within the TNF.

If you go back to the historic Rodeo Chediski fire, the conflagration was halted at the Apache White Mountain Indian Reservation because they had performed the simple actions necessary to prevent the uncontrolled destruction of property and life of its residents.

It is mandatory that we first take care of our individual properties and then demand TNF actions here to prevent turning our paradise into a mirror image of Paradise CA.

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