In 2011, Pine Strawberry Fuel Reduction received a 90/10 Wildfire Hazard grant to use on one large parcel of private land which adjoins the Tonto National Forest fuel break, complementing 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 girl’s 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 both the camp and Pine Creek Canyon vulnerable to a catastrophic wildfire similar to those around Greer and Alpine Arizona in 2011.
PSFR awarded RCO Reforesting, Inc. the brush thinning contract as part of this 90/10 grant. The camp individually contracted with SW 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.
Ongoing preventative maintenance has since been accomplished by reseeding, broadcast burning and land erosion techniques. Reseeding the area with native grasses was the next step in restoring the area to Mother Nature’s intent.
On May, 12, 2012 volunteers from Pine and Strawberry came with gloves and rakes to reseed the areas that had been thinned. Broadcast burning has also since been accomplished in partnership with Pine Strawberry Fire District and AZ State Forestry.