To: Property Owner’s in Pine & Strawberry Re: Discontinuation of the Brush Pick Up Program From: Pine/Strawberry Fuel Reduction, Inc.
It is with extreme regret that the P/S Fuel Reduction Board sends you this notice that the Pine and Strawberry Brush Pick Up Program will no longer be continued. We have received donations totaling less than 45% of the funding needed. This year’s goal was based on last year’s removal of only 450 tons, which was considerably less than the nearly 1,000 tons we removed in 2014 after a one year hiatus. With donations down, costs up and aging equipment, it is simply not financially feasible for us to continue the program.
Prior to 2012, grants were used by the Pine-Strawberry Fire Department to operate the brush pick up program. As of 2012 these grants no longer covered brush pickup. After a one-year stoppage in 2013, we took a risk and took over running the brush pick up program in 2014 and 2015. Over the last two years donations and fundraisers have not kept up with what was needed to fund the program and we can’t continue taking money from our reserve and eventually deplete it. As stated previously, for the upcoming year we have less than 45% of what is needed to keep the program going at 2015 levels. Walt Smith, our former Board President and co-founder of P/S Fuel Reduction, reminded us all of us have wanted things in our lives but couldn’t afford it. And that’s where we now stand with brush pick up.
Keeping our properties thinned and firewised is an extremely important objective to reducing the risk of fire inside our communities. The Forest Service has stepped up and has a schedule for thinning the 300 yard-wide fire break around our two communities which greatly reduces the risk of fire coming at us from the forest. And we have noticed a significant increase in properties inside our communities being firewised. Over the next few months we will be sending you notices regarding what to look for when firewising your property, a list of contractors who can thin your property and/or remove your thinned brush and ways you and your neighbors can get together to help each other thin your properties and help carry it away to the local free brush pit or the landfill.
We are currently in the process of putting together alternative fuel reduction projects for which the donations we’ve received can be used in our two communities. If you have suggestions of ways these funds can be used to reduce the brush and fuel loads inside our two communities please send them to us. Our email address is email@example.com and our mailing address is:
P/S Fuel Reduction P.O. Box 67 Pine, AZ 85544