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Tonto needs help with forest clean-up

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Tonto needs help with forest clean-up

Now that a permanent gate has been installed at the Tonto National Forest boundary east of Rio Verde and adjacent to the Ranch property, donations are needed to continue the preservation, cleanup and restoration of the Tonto National Forest area. All vehicles are now banned from this area. A locked gate and temporary barbed wire fence have been installed. It is now necessary to landscape the area with boulders and cacti to permanently block access. The Forest Service does not have the funds or the manpower to accomplish this. Donations to the project by Verde Communities residents are appreciated and are tax deductible. Checks can be made payable to RVCA--TNF Project and dropped off at the Rio Verde Community Center or mailed to the RVCA Office, 18816 E. Four Peaks Blvd., Rio Verde AZ 85263. Appropriate receipts will be provided. Any questions about donations to this project, may be directed to Birdie Pasenelli at 471-3845. Since the Forest Service is not permitted to accept funds directly from the public, they work with nonprofits on projects such as ours. In this case we are working with The Arizona Off Highway Vehicle Coalition, a federally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Peter O’Reilly (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) of Rio Verde and Rod Muilenburg of Tonto Verde (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) are coordinating this project. The next phase will be the cleanup and restoration of the area will be a Verde River Cleanup project this fall. The cleanup of the Verde River area is tentatively scheduled for late October. This will be a fun daylong joint effort by Rio Verde and Tonto Verde residents, as well as friends of a clean Verde River. Watch for further details in the coming months.

RVCA donation helps firefighter families

The Rio Verde Community Association has donated $1,000 to the 100 Club of Arizona to assist the families of the 19 hotshot firefighters who died in the Yarnell Hills Fire last month. The 100 club is dedicated to providing immediate financial assistance to families of public safety officers and firefighters who are severely injured or killed in the line of duty. These are resources used to enhance the safety and welfare of the families. Anyone who would like to help can visit www.100club. org, or to make a donation to the American Red Cross visit www.redcross.org. Donna Ferrante of Rio Verde offers her thanks to all those in the community who donated to take a carload of pet supplies to the Humane Society taking in displaced animals from the fire. An email asking for help was sent to a few RV residents who sent it to a few more. We ended up with some of everything the shelter asked for, according to Ferrante. The items were delivered to Wickenburg, as is being used to assist the families of Yarnell with their pets.

18 years ago Rio Fire threatened community

It has been 18 years this month that the desert wildfire known as the Rio Fire threatened the Verde Communities. Read Bob Mason’s account of the 1995 Rio Fire in the July-August issue of A Peek at the Peak. (Free copies are available in the Post Office.) Started by a dry lightning strike on July 7, 1995, the fire quickly ignited dry grass, spread through McDowell Mountain Park and the surrounding area, and on the second day threatened Rio Verde before the wind shifted abruptly. It was the largest desert wildfire ever experienced in the Phoenix Metropolitan area at that time, burning 23,000 acres, more than 14,000 inside McDowell Mountain Park. The Rio Fire is an important reminder of why Rio Verde and Tonto Verde’s Firewise effort to create defensible space between the Verde communities and surrounding wild lands is crucial. All residents are urged to donate to Verdes Wildfire Protection Inc. to ensure that the funds are available to minimize the risk from wildfires. For more information contact Rio Verde Firewise coordinator Eb Scheuing at 471-7393. Verdes Wildfire Protection Inc. is a 501(c) (3) non-profit tax-exempt organization.

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