In the spring of 2009 a grant opportunity became available, providing communities with funding to reduce the fuels on large private properties and to complement USFS projects by widening and extending the fuel break into the community. Pine Strawberry Fuel Reduction, Inc. was successful in securing a 90/10 grant to do just that. Using this grant, 90% of the cost of treatment is covered by grant funds while the property owner is responsible for the remaining 10%.
Several large parcels of private land, each from 40-200 acres, located in steep mountainous terrain filled with diseased and overcrowded trees and vegetation, were identified.
These parcels directly abut the fuel break and diminish its effectiveness at strategic points. One of these undeveloped parcels nearly provided entrance for the Cave Creek Complex Fire and the others have that same potential. Fuel reduction on these properties is vital in reducing the overall fire threat to the community.
In 2011 an additional grant opportunity became available. So far, between the two 90/10 grants, approximately 450 acres of private land has been thinned including these properties:
- The Hunt property: 57 acres located in the NW corner of Strawberry in a saddle between the community and Fossil Creek Canyon. The USFS fuel break borders this on two sides, north and to the west. This area was identified as the most probable area that a fire could enter Strawberry if a fire was to be burning in Fossil Creek. The area is heavy chaparral with dense stands of juniper and ponderosa pine.
- Portals IV: a Firewise subdivision that had its common areas cleared by DOC in 2000. Common areas were reentered to remove new growth and new common areas treated. There has been some clearing on individual properties, with priority given to those that directly adjoin the USFS fire break. A self help program that utilizes brush removal for those that prefer to do their own work in the home ignition zone is available.
- The Krebs property: 70 acres located in the center of Pine. This property contains a large amount of beetle kill in the Ponderosa stands with heavy amounts of dead down and standing, and heavy chaparral growth. This area poses a threat to the community and to the private property that surrounds it.
- The Gould Property: 35 acres on the northeast end of Strawberry, surrounded on three sides by the USFS fuel break. This area consists of ponderosa impacted by beetle kill, juniper and oak, with many dead and down trees and dense chaparral. Clearing this property will enlarge the scope of the USFS fuel break and protect the mitigation work already accomplished on private property to the south.
- Arrowhead Estates: an isolated community south of Pine completely surrounded by US Forest and the AZ State Park, Natural Bridge. This area is dense with stands of juniper and chaparral along with small meadows. 39.02 acres are targeted for treatment and/or maintenance.
- The Hill Property: 23.22 acres of forested property that is badly in need of preventative maintenance to aid in the effective and safe regeneration of the area. The area will be broadcast burned.
- The Toubel Property: 10.5 acres directly adjoining the Hill Property on the northeast side. The property is similar in appearance and need and will be treated in conjunction with the Hill Property.
Future 90/10 projects
- The Reed Property: 40 areas on the south side of Pine that borders the USFS fire break on its south border. This property is dense stand of ponderosa and chaparral. There are several homes on the west and north sides of it that could be severely threatened by fire. Clearing this property will enlarge the scope of the USFS fire break and protect the mitigation work already accomplished on private property to the east and to the north.
- Unspecified propertie:s Ones in the Pine Strawberry area that are 2 acres or larger in size are eligible for treatment with this grant. Please use the Contact page to see if your property qualifies.