In 2011 Pine/Strawberry Fuel Reduction, Inc. received a 90/10 Grant from the Wildland Fire / Hazardous Fuels Grants program. This grant was intended to use on one large parcel of private land, Camp Lo Mia, which adjoins the Tonto National Forest fuel break. This work complemented USFS projects by widening and extending the fuel break into the community and increasing its effectiveness at this extremely hazardous and strategic point.
Camp Lo Mia is 197 acres that was choked with manzanita, oak and tall, skinny, unhealthy pine trees all because mother nature’s natural thinning agent, fire, had been suppressed since the early 1900’s.
The girls camp, host to up to 500 girls at any given time of the year, is located directly in the “chimney” formed by Pine Creek Canyon and for many years has been called one of the top potential fire dangers in the country. This left the camp and Pine Creek Canyon vulnerable to a catastrophic wildfire similar to the Wallow Fire around Greer and Alpine Arizona in 2011.
RCO Reforesting, Inc. was awarded the brush thinning contract as part of the 90/10 grant. The camp individually contracted with Southwest Biomass to log the trees, chip them and send the chips to Renegy, a company in Snowflake, AZ. that uses biomass to produce electricity.
The entire project took about 8 weeks and was completed in May, 2012. You can see some of the work in action in the video below.
And compare this photo with the one at the top of this post:
Reseeding the area with grasses was the next step in restoring the area to mother natures intent. On May, 12, 2012 volunteers from Pine and Strawberry came with gloves and rakes to reseed the areas that had been thinned.