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Stage 1 Fire Restrictions are in effect.




President Mike Brandt called the meeting to order at 6:10 PM

The meeting was held at the Pine Senior Center Dining Hall

Nancy led the Pledge of Allegiance


MEMBERS PRESENT: Mike Brandt (President), Melvin Palmer (Vice-President), Brenda Darling (Secretary), Nancy Hubbs (Treasurer), Janet Brandt, Katie Calderon, Ron Calderon



Janet moved to approve the minutes of the May 30, 2018 PSFR Board meeting and the June 18, 2018 Special Executive meeting as presented. Katie seconded.

Motion Passed.



Ray Stephens raised the concern that Pine and Strawberry may be in danger of a Bark Beetle infestation. Additionally, due to the forest closure, which includes the Pine Brush Pit, there is nowhere to take the bark beetle trees for disposal once they are cut down. Although the Buckhead Mesa Landfill is still open, there is a fee unless you go on the second Saturday of the month when the cost is $1 per load. However, if you choose to go on the second Saturday of the month you can expect to wait in line for hours.


Mike indicated that the Randall’s no longer have the blower that was used in the past. Ray and Mike briefly outlined the process required to kill the bark beetle once a tree has been cut down. The felled tree needs to be cut into rounds and wrapped up in heavy black plastic, sealed up and left to bake in the hot sun. The beetles can still bore out of the plastic so you may need to shore it up with heavy duty duct tape. After a period of time you then need to peel the bark off the trees. The limbs still need to be removed and taken to the landfill. Although watering your trees helps to prevent the bark beetle, it takes about 700 gallons of water per tree and we have already been in stage I water restrictions due to drought conditions so this is not a feasible option.

Bottom line, we need to come up with a way to get rid of the bark beetle trees. This same issue was raised at the last Pine Strawberry Fire Department meeting.

Ray Stephens offered to assist felling trees for low income residents; he may be contacted through He is also looking for other tree cutters who are willing to donate their time to help with this endeavor. If he cannot secure enough volunteers to fell identified bark beetle trees, then Ray can provide contact information of reputable landscapers to perform this work.

Ron provided a brief update on the two Firewise day raffle winners for 4 hours of landscaping service. One winner had 1.5 acres, and the other was a very small piece of property that was owned by an elderly woman that was in very bad shape. The landscape company spent 14 hours clearing this property. Both raffle winners were very appreciative. The landscape company was paid for by Duane Ridle.

The American Conservation Experience completed the Pine View Trail the day before the Forest was closed. ACE is a 501(c)(3) registered non-profit organization that provides a range of voluntary service programs for both American and international participants. For more information see Everyone was encouraged to check out the Pine View Trail once the forest reopens.

PSFD Chief Garry Morris provided the following updates:

PSFD is giving chainsaw exceptions via a permit process. You must call the PSFD and they will come out on site and assess the situation; you must have a water hose charged up and ready to go and you must remain on-site for 30 minutes after the work to ensure no sparks started a fire. They are issuing up to 4 permits a day.

The Payson Roundup published an article about a reduced fire risk due to the one day of rain that we experienced mid-June which resulted in 4 citations the next day (people interpreted the article to indicate risk was over). The next article cited the continued high risk.


Fuel Reduction

  • Beginning balance was $39,175.62
  • Deposits of $0
  • Expenses of $ $565.79
  • Ending balance $38,609.83


Fire on the Rim

  • Beginning balance was $65,060.87
  • Deposits of $1,467
  • Expenses of $21,682.05 (ACE trail crew – Pine View Trail)
  • Ending balance of $44,845.82


Edward Jones

  • Total Portfolio Value is $58,603.99

Janet moved to accept Treasurer’s Report as presented. Katie seconded. Motion Passed.



The National Strategy for Sustainable Trails includes photos from the Pine Strawberry Fuel Reduction trail work. The US Forest Service Briefing paper also mentions the PSFR projects and website as a model for community efforts and partnerships.




The community’s request to reinstate the use of the siren was raised with the County and they said that they will not be resurrecting the siren. They are directing the public to go to and sign up for Everbridge so that you can be notified via telephone, text, and/or email. Advisories can be sent out via Everbridge very quickly. When you get a message on your phone from the Everbridge alert system the caller ID will show up as a series of ones (1111).

Internet issues were brought up as a concern. Chief Morris gave a brief synopsis of the background on the issue of internet outages, 18 since the fall of 2015. A consortium of agencies have come together to meet with CenturyLink without success due to the cost. They are now having discussions with another company called Frontier Cable. The Corporation Commission can put pressure on CenturyLink to address the problem. Elections are just around the corner so let your voice be heard through your calls, letters and of course your vote on Corporation Commission positions.

Brush Pick-up

Brush Pick-Up would cost over $250,000 which cannot be funded through PSFR donations.

ADOT Signage

ADOT’s concern is with public safety on the road. The Elk are the greatest risk to public safety on the road. Chief Morris reported that the PSFD just received the two large reflective metal Fire Risk Gauge signs that PSFR purchased and they will be going up within the next two or so weeks just outside of town. The signs have an area below the gauge for additional signage for things like the Fire Restrictions. They also have a few smaller signs that will also be displayed in several areas of town.

Brush Pit

Getting rid of our fuel is becoming a problem. The Blattner Pit is still open. The PSFD is willing to provide a water truck and staff to man the Pine Brush Pit however, the Forest Service is reluctant to have the Pine Brush Pit opened during Stage II Fire Restrictions and Forest Closures. The greatest concern is along the road on the way to the pit, (someone could be dragging a chain or throw out a lit cigarette). If a fire were to start out there it would come right up to this community. The final decision/approval has to come from the Board of Supervisors. Garry Morris said he would speak to Tommy Martin with the County Board of Supervisors about a possible exception in the event of a bark beetle infestation. At this time the Pine Brush Pit remains closed. The Landfill remains open and is what the community is to use to dispose of their brush. Mike will write a letter to Gila County Supervisor Tommie Martin regarding a possible discount for tree removal and disposal of bark beetle trees.

Mass Mailing

PSFR will send an educational tri-fold to all property owners regarding the cost benefit of Firewising their property along with tips on how to Firewise their property. This will be sent to approximately 5000 property owners in the Pine and Strawberry communities. The cost is estimated to be $1,500 – $2,500. Janet made a motion to proceed with the mass mailing not to exceed $2,500. Nancy seconded.

Motion Passed.


Fire on the Rim Bike Race

We are behind raffle ticket sales this year but ahead on hat and t-shirt sales. Volunteers are needed for the Fire on the Rim Bike Race to man the raffle table in addition to other tasks. You can send an email to the or go to the website to let us know of your interest in volunteering. We hope to get some committee meetings scheduled within the next two weeks.

Firewise Trailer

The Firewise Trailer has a lot of good information and everyone was encouraged to stop in to check it out. It is open during all of the various festivals throughout the year.


Wednesday July 25, 2018 at 6:00 PM in the Pine Senior Dining Hall. Meetings are set for the last Wednesday of each month.



Mike moved to adjourn. Nancy seconded.

Motion Passed.

Meeting adjourned at 7:04 P.M.

Respectfully submitted by Brenda Darling, P/SFR Secretary

Download  2018 June 27 Meeting Notes (PDF)

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