Those of us who live on Pine Mountain or who have property here will long remember the anxiety we lived with last November while the Chestnut Knob fire burned over 6,500 acres next door in the State Park. Months of drought accompanied with unseasonal high temperatures and gusty winds produced conditions that fed the fire and often covered this mountain with the unsettling smell of a burning forest. For over a month while forest service personnel fought to contain it, the residents of Pine Mountain shared our roads, our fears and our prayers with the volunteers from South Mountains Fire and Rescue. Those wonderful men and women were on this mountain 24/7 during that time, patrolling day and night watching for signs of fire while they prepared for the possibility of fighting structure fires here. While we worked, slept, and prepared for Thanksgiving, the volunteers worked, slept, and patrolled our mountain.
Out of that experience was born the Pine Mountain Firewise Community Committee, comprised of Pine Mountain Estate property owners. We are committed to making our mountain and our homes more defensible in the event of another wildland fire. Our goal is to become a recognized Firewise Community and to achieve official Firewise Communities/USA recognition status. As part of our application process, the PM Firewise Community Committee hosted a fundraiser on July 22 for our South Mountains Fire and Rescue volunteer department, and what a wonderful day it was!
Working hand-in-hand with the South Mountains F&R Ladies Auxiliary, we held a hot dog & hamburger fundraiser combined with a yard sale at the fire department on Saturday, July 22. To say that the day was one of the hottest so far this summer would be an understatement!! Wow was it hot…. But despite the temperature, the community turned out to eat together, shop together, and celebrate our wonderful fire and rescue volunteers. The money raised from this effort – which included food sales, yard sale proceeds, and the many individual donations that were made to the fire and rescue department from area residents – totaled $1,350….!!!! Does this community love its fire and rescue volunteers???? Yes, I believe we do!!!!
The Firewise Community Committee can’t thank everyone enough who took the time to help us with planning this event and making it successful. Firewise committee members & spouses and other Pine Mountain residents, and members of the SMFR Ladies Auxiliary spent many hours in preparation for this event. The addition of the yard sale on pretty short notice nonetheless garnered a tremendous donation response from Pine Mountain and area residents and was a huge boost to bringing the local community out. Hats off to those who planned the food, made signs, posted flyers, handled publicity, baked deserts, sorted/organized and prepared for the yard sale, worked the food line, handled the money, grilled the meats, set-up and tore down and cleaned up, and showed up to support this event. You know who you are, and we thank-you so much!
Will we do other fund raisers for our firefighters? Yes! Stay tuned! But next time we will aim for cooler weather!!
Written and provided by: Ruth Robertson, Secretary to the Pine Mountain Firewise Community Committee.