Category Archives: Local Information

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


Hot Shot Crews Clearing Brush West of Cherry

June 3rd 2013

Just a heads up. These opportunities come at us pretty fast so I don’t get much lead time and that means you don’t either, Sorry! We will be hosting the Sawtooth Hotshot Crew here as part of the Large Fire Support Pre-positioning. This happens most every year in the Southwest as we get hotter and drier. My intent is to get them up on the west end of Cherry tomorrow and start brushing out the fence line that goes south from the cattle guard. This is some of the work we discussed at the Spring Meeting. How long they will be here or how much work we will get done is anybody’s guess. If you have any questions please let me know. Thanks, ~~S~~

Scott Spleiss

Fuels, Prevention & Detection Battalion Chief

Verde Valley Center

Verde Ranger District, Prescott N.F.

Red Rock Ranger District, Coconino N.F.

Office: 928-567-1156

Recent Brushfire

Link to: Yavapai County Emergency Alert Website

To the residents of Cherry, AZ –

CVFA responded to a small brush fire recently. Thanks to the quick action of volunteers Joe Boyle, John Wilson and Carl Collmar it was held to under two acres. The cause was sparks from a burn barrel on a windy day. From this experience we learned that the large wild land truck has an air leak that keeps its pump from fully priming. We can and will fix that. We should have also learned that you don’t use a burn barrel on a windy day. We can’t fix that – it’s a personal choice. I implore those of you who feel the need to burn papers or debris to wait for a calm day – preferably just after a good rain. Thanks.
Bud Gindhart




Cherry Volunteer Fire Association Annual General Membership Meeting April 20, 2013

Cherry Barn

Cherry Volunteer Fire Association
Annual General Membership Meeting
April 20, 2013

Bud Gindhart, President Joe Boyle, Vice President
Bob Kennedy, Treasurer Jim Bond, Legal Advisor
Karen Bruno, Secretary Nancy Clauss, Board Member
Boyce Macdonald, Board Member Frank Melluzzo, Board Member
Faren Wattie, Board Member

Celeste Gordon, Verde District Ranger, Verde Valley Center, Prescott National Forest
Brian Steinhardt – Fire Management – Zone District Manager
(928) 567-1150 direct line for fire operations – Prescott National Forestry Service
Kurt Wetstein, Team Leader
Scott Spleiss, Fire and Fuel Specialist
Thomas Thurman, Supervisor – District Two – County Board of Supervisors, Prescott

President Gindhart called the general meeting of the CVFA to order at 12:18 pm to order. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. The above listed quorum was called and confirmed. President Gindhart then requested that all new attendees stand and introduce themselves, including location of residence.

Bill Reiber introduced himself as living by Black Hawk 3 by Nancy Cooper. Ed and Summer Osinski stated they have purchased a place by the Suttons.

President Gindhart announced the launching of our new website.

Treasurer Kennedy discussed the treasurer report which included:

Auto insurance on the fire trucks and workman’s comp are our highest expenses. Last year, these two items combined was $ 838 and this year these two items total over $1000. Our second highest expense is APS. We will continue to look into ways to cut the electric bill for the firehouse.

Faren Wattie presented information from Fire School. He supplied hand-outs and reviewed tips for homeowners from Faren suggested we add this website to the cherry website. Grants were discussed for homeowners that can’t afford help to clean up their properties.

President Gindhart presented Treasurer Kennedy with a 10 year service award.

Supervisor Thurman discussed the following topics: fire wise communities and grants that are available for latter fuel reduction, EMT certification, and road paving. Of the remaining unpaved section of Cherry Creek Road, the county will pave half of it this year later in the summer and the other half next year. The asphalt will then be chip sealed.

Celeste Gordon reviewed analysis on Black Hills regarding treatments, which includes the 09/2011 decision which was signed and is now being implemented with treatments; grazing permits and environmental analysis on grazing permits, management direction, and plans to integrate projects to help watershed areas were discussed. Ms. Gordon also discussed the Cherry Creek watershed; 132 Road, fencing on Log Springs, upper ash will be one of the next watershed areas; and black canyon water shed; we have access issues on some roads.

Kurt Wetstein discussed the 10 year goals: 1)promote or maintain a healthy forest 2) vegetation condition 3) fuel reduction 4) maintain healthy forest which includes thinning out the trees, which will also provide a condition under which the June fire won’t rip through the forest. Regardless of vegetation type, they are maintaining ecosystems to reduce fire. Place emphasis in and around private property. Prioritize adjacent areas to private property.

Large maps were hung and discussion included thinning and prescribed burning in the Black Hills area. Mr. Wetstein reviewed the maps and discussed protection south and west as this is the direction fire travels in.

Also discussed was the oak fuel wood project west of the community; objective was reducing density for healthier trees, and provided fuels reduction so fire will burn at a ower intensity.

The Forestry Service is planning smaller similar projects with its own crews. They are planning on thinning the oaks and leaving them on the ground. Also discussed was the community gathering wood with permits for burning.

Mr. Wetstein stated 1/3 of permit money stays in the community. The program includes the following: West of Cherry and at Powell springs and Log Springs they will be implementing cutting down smaller trees and leaving the best ones and then doing a prescribed burn in the near future. 150 acres this fall and 150 by Log Springs a year from now. The Forestry Service is looking at 100-200 acres of commercial timber sale of ponderosa pines. They will measure the volume, mark trees to take, and they will control the contracts to make sure they are being followed. Doing this it’s not really a natural condition. But that’s really natural. Thinning these trees will promote the safety and health of the trees. Following up with a prescribed burn is a critical part. They need it to survive. The small trees are sickly.

Ranger Gordon suggested we look at already-treated areas to get an idea of what it will look like.

The community’s concern over removal of trees was discussed. Betty Miller stated we didn’t get a chance to bid on the oak firewood sold last year. Ranger Gordon took responsibility for the lack of communication and said the community would be notified of changes to come.

Scott Spleiss discussed the Cherry dumping area. Requested residents dump only yard material; Scott Spleiss is in his 10th season of working the fuels projects, prescribed burns, and fighting fires in and around Prescott National Forest area. He discussed the map, showing remaining fiscal 2013 and all of 2014 scheduled burning. He also discussed 117 acres associated with Sunnybrook mine area they would like to do initial treatment with. This includes crush the brush, knock it down, rearrange fuel, come in and burn it and follow up with additional treatments by opening canopies.

Mr. Spleiss will supply Karen Bruno with websites to add to our website for forestry information. Ranger Gordon will provide the NIPA website so we can look at the environmental survey on animals, etc.

By nature of the work they do they look at ecological time frames based on what they know historically and what they’ve gathered scientifically. To maintain pine trees we currently have, they need to perform this type of work to make sure the trees are still present 100 years from now. Mr. Spleiss also discussed projects coming up – one of which was 117 acres around Sunnybrook. They are currently waiting on funding; There has been a 10% reduction in seasonal firefighters due to the sequester.

Phone books: All in attendance received the new 2013-2014 Cherry Phone Book. Those not in attendance will receive a phone book by mail. Additional copies may be purchased for $3.50 each.

CVFA hats and t-shirts are still available for purchase. See Karen Bruno for details. Cost is $20 each.

The meeting adjourned at 1:50 pm.

Duly Submitted – Karen Bruno, Secretary

May 8th 2013- Live Fire Exercise – Camp Verde High School Wildland Certification Day — Powell Springs

We are planning our annual Camp Verde High School Wildland Certification day on Wednesday May 8th, 2013. If weather cooperates we will plan on a small live fire exercise at Powell Springs C.G. The students will be used to put in control lines and throw hose to completely plumb an area less than one quarter acre. Forest Service Engine Crews will then be used to ignite the small area and completely extinguish the burned area. This is then followed by a mock wildland scenario that involves the students and Forest Service Crews. This will be run on Tactical Frequency 1 (assigned by PDC). This whole event will start around 0930 and is planned to wrap up around 1330. This has been a successful program for the past 6 or 7 years producing about 20 wildland fire fighters employed by various Agencies and municipalities. This may be the last year of the program however, school budgets are forcing some changes and it is not clear what the outcomes will be at this time. Thanks and holler if you have questions,  Scott Spleiss

Scott Spleiss –

Fuels, Prevention & Detection Battalion Chief

Verde Valley Center

Verde Ranger District, Prescott N.F.

Red Rock Ranger District, Coconino N.F.

Office: 928-567-1156

Cell: 928-301-3321