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Rim Golf Club

Rim Golf ClubThe Rim Golf Club Community is located in Payson, AZ, at the base of the Mogollon Rim. Payson is approximately 85 miles northeast of the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport and has a population of 15,000. The area is one of the most beautiful parts of the world and is located 5000 feet above sea level. We are located in Gila County, AZ. Roughly 92% of the land in Gila County is either National Forest, Indian Reservation or State controlled. Only 8% is held in private hands.

The Rim Golf Club Community is comprised of 554 acres, 164 of which are an 18-hole World Class Golf Course. There are 319 lots with lot sizes ranging from .3 to 1 acre in size. We enjoy four seasons and experience an average precipitation of 20 to 25 inches. Our precipitation generally occurs in two distinct seasons. The first is from November through March, when storm systems from the Pacific Ocean bring frequent winter storms and sometimes heavy snows to the mountain elevations. The second season brings rainfall to the area during the summer "monsoon," generally beginning in early July and lasting until mid-September. The storms are frequently localized with intense winds, blowing dust, flooding, heavy lighting and often dry lightning that becomes the ignition source for forest fires. Fire danger is a tremendous concern during the hot and dry period of May to July, just prior to the monsoon season. Payson does not have any recorded history of any major fires within the last 100 years.

Rim Golf ClubIn both 2005 and 2006, there were a number of sizeable forest fires in Arizona. Realizing that we live in an area surrounded by the Tonto National Forest which had been allowed to grow without any consideration to reducing the risk of forest fires, our community became very proactive in taking the steps necessary to become a Firewise USA Community. We worked closely with both the Payson Fire Department and the Diamond Star Fire Department to develop a program that would compliment their efforts and in turn provide an elevated level of fire protection within our community. Through the efforts of both of the Fire Departments and the National Forest Service, the first major commitment we made as a Community was to fund a fire fuel reduction program at the southern and eastern boundaries of our community. The fire fuel reduction program covered about 65 acres and cleared a 330 foot fire fuel break into the Tonto National Forest. This, along with the coordinated efforts of both the Town of Payson and Star Valley made a significant first step in establishing a defensible perimeter around our community.

Rim Golf ClubOur Community also worked closely with the Fire Management Division of the Arizona State Land Department. Working with their representative, Lee Ann Beery, we completed a Firewise Community USA Assessment in June 2006. The assessment highlighted both the areas in need of attention and the positive elements that we had working in our favor. Based on the information provided by the assessment, we held a Community-wide Firewise Meeting in September that was very well attended. Our guest speakers at the meeting were Chief Gary Hatch of the Diamond Star Fire Department and Jessie Causer of the Arizona State Land Department. Their presentations were very insightful, and as a result, we were able to have over 100 of our property owners sign Assessment Permission Forms. The forms allow representatives of the Arizona State Land Department, the Payson Fire Department and the Rim Golf Club Community Firewise Committee to conduct a Firewise Assessment on the individual piece of land. We have completed the assessment on over 20 lots and provided copies of the reports to the property owners. We are realizing a tremendous response from the property owners, and based upon the reports, the majority of the property owners are taking the necessary steps to address their property from a Firewise perspective. The interesting phenomenon is that many of the adjacent property owners are taking the corrective action before we have even conduct a Firewise Assessment simply because they see how worthwhile the program is.

Our major focus in the coming months is to continue to conduct the Firewise Assessments and encourage the remaining property owners to become involved in the program. We are extremely pleased with the tremendous response that we have seen in the 10 months that we have been involved in the Firewise USA program.