Author Archives: Faren Wattie

Congratulations to Luke Fetter

Luke Fetter, grandson of one of our original Cherry firefighters, is going into the U.S. Air Force to become a firefighter. Luke plans to leave for training on February 21. Luke said that the training provided through the CVFA allowed him to acquire certifications that moved him along much more quickly as a firefighter recruit. Luke is certified as a Firefighter Type 2 (Wildland), he has Wildland Fire Chainsaw certification, helicopter support certification, and he is a Nationally and State certified EMT. Congratulations, Luke, on your new life course.

Curt Christy

CVFA President


We would like to thank our 10  Cherry Volunteers who attended the 43rd Annual Arizona Fire School!  It was an Amazing 4 day event where we all learned a lot and made some great contacts from across the State.  There were just over 800 Fire Fighters from Arizona and the South Western States, taking part in over 30 different Classes!

Attending the Fire School shows a real commitment from all of our Cherry Volunteers! As we now know we can never stop learning,  training and  practicing safely. Which this leads to safe and effective responses to help keep our Cherry Community safe.

We are proud of our Volunteers and very grateful for their participation!  We already looking forward to next year’s Fire School and even more Cherry Volunteers attending!

Here is a link the Fox News Report on this year’s Arizona Fire School:


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We have some exciting news for Cherry! 

Our CVFA President Elect, Curt Christy, has secured a “new” fire truck for Cherry through his efforts and growing relationship with the Fire Chief Roger Nusbaum of the Walker Volunteer Fire Association.    Much thanks to Curt for his work and efforts in  obtaining the  1990 Type 6 fire engine for our community . 

 Special thanks to the Walker Fire Association Board for their generous donation! 

This type 6 fire engine will be a  huge asset for our community!   The smaller truck has several benefits: It is much easier to operate and maintain, and it’s ability to go in areas the larger trucks can’t.  It will  also allow for a much quicker response time! 


 Fire Chief Roger Nusbaum of the Walker Fire Association           turning over the keys to Curt Christy our CVFA President Elect!  Key Transfer of truck


         Our new Type 6 Fire Engine also has Foam Capabilities!



   Yes, we do have a lot to be thankful for in our wonderful community of Cherry!

Thank you  Walker Fire Association!

CVFA and the Cherry Community

Sept 2015 – Prescribed Burn Planed for Sunnybrook Mine Area !

Hello Cherry Neighbors, 

Today we received a notice from our good friend Scott Spleiss with the Prescott National Forest Service. 

They are planning a Prescribed Burn for Sunnybrook Mine Area which is just West of Cherry and South of Cherry Creek Road. This controlled burn may happen as early as next week. So there will be a possibility of smoke in the area for several days once they start! 

Please see Scott’s e-mail below for more information. 


Thank you for your continued support, 

Faren Wattie



Hello Cherry Community,

Many of us are returning from the summer campaigns and are re-engaging with the needs of our own communities and resources. To that end I wanted to let you know we are looking to implement a small prescribed burn in the Sunnybrook mine area. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 – 150 acre could be burned depending on weather and burning conditions. Sunnybrook mine itself is considered a special area from an historical perspective, it helps tell stories about our past and our robust western heritage and for that reason we will strive to keep that area and all its historical context from burning.

As many of you know we conducted a brush mastication project there in early 2014 and now is a good time to finish this round of work with a prescribed burn to reduce the fuel loads we have there. As always we are excited to do this work because we know it improves chances for survivability of the many residents of Cherry and Federal Mine should you ever become threatened by wildfire from that direction.

The first best available date looks to be early next week beginning on September 21, 2015. If this timeframe looks suitable we anticipate one or two days to burn the area and then a few more days to patrol and ensure the burn stays within the intended boundary.  There is a possibility of seeing smoke in the area for several days because of some heavier fuel such as downed logs and large branches. If next week does not have suitable conditions to burn we will continue to pursue the right conditions and re-schedule the burn for sometime this fall.

In other news, we anticipate burning around 1000 acres on and near Onion Mountain south of Cherry sometime in October or November. This is also considered to give us a strategic advantage to provide greater survivability to the community. We also intend to regroup and continue thinning oak and juniper just west of Log Spring. This project has kind of sputtered along this summer due mostly to so many of us working on fires across the west.

We value our relationship with you all and look forward to continued cooperation.


Scott E. Spleiss Fuels, Prevention, Detection Battalion Chief
Forest Service

Prescott National Forest, Verde Ranger District

Coconino National Forest, Red Rock Ranger District

2014 CVFA Annual Meeting Minutes



APRIL 12, 2014


OFFICERS PRESENT                                                        BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT

Bud Gindhart, President                                                          Faren Wattie

Joe Boyle, Vice President                                                         Nancy Clauss

Bob Kennedy, Treasurer                                                          Frank Melluzzo

Karen Bruno, Secretary

Jim Bond, Legal Advisor


Guests In Attendance:

Celeste Gordon -District Ranger

Scott Spleiss, Battalion Chief and Fuel Specialist

Thomas Thurman, Yavapai County, Board of Supervisors, District 2 and Marlene Summers

Verl Cook, Area Roads Superintendent



President Bud Gindhart called the meeting of the CVFA to order at 12:18 pm.  The above listed quorum was called and confirmed.

President Gindhart motioned to waive the reading of the minutes of 2013 meeting.  Motion was granted.



Joe Boyle – All trucks are in working condition. Brent Deal donated red paint to paint the tanker that resides in Federal Mines; it will be sanded on Sunday, April 13th at noon.  Volunteers welcome.


Bob Kennedy – stated fewer community members are contributing to the CVFA.   Vehicle maintenance and gas remain the same.   New expenses occurred are the website and the dial system for notifications and emergencies.  APS is currently $72. The average bill is $30 per month. Copies of the Treasurer’s report were provided.  See end of minutes of the meeting for a copy.  The association purchased 24 hats and 24 t-shirts to sell to the community.   Total cost:  $ 382.61.  The shirts and hats will be sold for $20 each.  The sales from these items will generate $577.39.


Officers were elected; Bud Gindhart, President; Bob Kennedy, Treasurer; Karen Bruno, Secretary. Curt Cristy was elected as a new board member.


President Gindhart presented Faren Wattie with the Volunteer of the Year Award for his hard work on the website and the new emergency dial system.


Verl Cook, Area Roads Department – ditches will be cleaned out before the monsoon season.  We lost road dept. time for the Yarnell incident.  Governor Brewer signed an appropriations bill on Friday, March 8th.  The amendments: rural transportation advocacy council for Arizona; Greater Arizona (add’l 13 counties) legislature had taken over 120 million dollars out of our fund, giving it to the department of public safety. Some years the amount taken was over 200 million. Legislation agreed to put money back; however, it was only $30 million.  Taxes will not be raised per Tom.

Three quarters of a mile will be completed between the two paved sections in the fiscal year 2015 to 2016. Federal Mines road is not part of the road maintenance and construction.  Mr. Cook also stated that with regard to the road improvements on Cherry Road, they are ripping up the existing road and repaving. The cattle guard and the road through town is also on the agenda to pave.  As they get closer to the main section of town, flood control and engineering will get involved.


Assistant Fire Mgmt. Office for Verde District; Battalion Chief and Fuel Specialist – Scott Spleiss and Celeste Gordon were introduced.  We have a number of projects we are engaged in south and southwest from Cherry to the Verde Floor.   Mr. Spleiss reviewed the supervised burns in years past. Through last years’ discussions, he was able to allow the community to stockpile and burn fuel for winter time. A mastication contractor worked on 100 acres around Sunnybrook Mine.  165 acres were treated.  The burn will be late in the monsoon moving into fall.  Long and Powell Springs thinning left fuel on the ground, allowing for gathering for the next few seasons. They’ll burn those Powell Springs pine stands.

Regarding fire restrictions – campfires and smoking are considered stage 1.  This will most likely happen before the end of April, beginning of May.  Look on our website to see how we are linked to the southwest coordination or Prescott National Forest website for information.



The tribute fence preservation project was discussed.  Members have taken t-shirts and are making a quilt for the tribute for the fallen firemen of the Yarnell fire.

Celeste stated there is an environmental analysis done for all of the Black Hills, Mingus, etc. watershed restoration projects. They are using boulders, fencing etc. to keep traffic off of the undesignated roads. Call in if you see someone on the roads illegally.

– Faren Wattie discussed website items.

-Information was provided by Marlene Summers of Tom Thurman’s office.

-The meeting adjourned at 1:34 pm.


Duly submitted April 13, 2014, Karen Bruno, Secretary

CC:  B. Gindhart, Joe Boyle, B. Kennedy

Prescribed Burning Planned for October 16-17- 2014

Prescribed Burning Planned for October 16th &17th -2014

On the Verde Ranger District


Prescott, AZ (October 3, 2014) –Fire managers on the Verde Ranger District are planning to conduct prescribed fire operations beginning Thursday, October 16 through Saturday, October 18, pending favorable weather conditions.  Specific days to burn will be determined by current and expected weather patterns allowing fire managers to make every effort to minimize smoke impacts to nearby communities.


Powell Project – Approximately 500 acres, located north of Powell Springs Campground and west of the community of Cherry (T14N, R3E, Sec 19).


Log Project – Approximately 500 acres, located west of the Federal Mine and north of the community of Cherry (T14N, R3E, Sec 7).


These are maintenance burns, meaning these areas have been previously treated with mechanical and/or prescribed fire.  These previous treatments have reduced fuel accumulations and result in less smoke production and impacts to the surrounding communities.  Both projects are part of the ongoing fuels reduction work aimed at improving forest health and helping to reducing fire danger to the community of Cherry and the Federal Mine.


All prescribed fires activity is dependent on the availability of personnel and equipment, weather, fuels and conditions that minimize smoke impacts as best as possible and approval from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (


The public can obtain additional prescribed fire information via the following:

  • Prescott NF Fire Information Hotline:  (928) 777-5799
  • Prescott NF Forest Website:
  • Local Ranger Stations:  Bradshaw Ranger District, (928) 443-8000; Chino Valley Ranger District (928) 777-2200; Verde Ranger District (928) 567-4121