Recently, several Patagonia residents helped to put out a fire reported in someone’s yard. I want to commend whoever it was that called in the smoke report because we at Patagonia Volunteer Fire & Rescue believe we can keep damage to a minimum when we respond early. 

In this case, leaves were being burned in someone’s backyard in all innocence, like so many do all across the country. Here in Patagonia I believe there’s a town ordinance that all such burns be conducted in an enclosed barrel with a lid to keep cinders from floating away. If you plan to burn, I strongly suggest, in consideration of those whose time may be wasted on a false alarm, you make a phone call or two, one to the Sheriff’s office (520) 761-7869 and another to a member of PVF&R, if not the chief himself; currently Ike Isakson (520) 604 2973. And please announce the location and duration of the controlled burn and your contact number so people can check up if needed. 

Please also, stick around to keep an eye on your burn, with a hose at hand. An alternative is that some of your neighbors would be happy to take your leaves for their garden compost piles, so talk to your neighbors and let them know. 

Some of you may have noticed a group of us practicing our skills near Costello Drive earlier in the month. We plan to have more regular drills and training after our monthly meetings. These generally occur the first Sunday of the month starting at 9a.m. Please drop in to see how you can participate or even join us. Patagonia could always use more people trained to assist our neighbors when the going gets rough. The more available hands, the lighter the load for each. Kudos to our newest certified EMTs, Karina Hilliard, Dan Goff, and Starr and Todd Norton. 

I’d like to thank folks for their end of year contributions. Our “thermometer” has been updated to show that we have about $32,000 set aside for the purchase of a new, reliable water truck to add to our fleet. Deliver donations to Denise Bowden, treasurer, Ike or Diane Isakson, or c/o PFV&R PO Box 497. 

Bob Ollerton, our Fleet Manager, has been hard at work getting our antique truck spruced up for the next century, having sent out the wheels for its second set of tires. We hope to have it in good repair and leading this year’s Independence Day parade. This is a separate budget item from regular operations and donations to this project are asked for and appreciated. 

Please feel free to specify a preference for where your donations should be put to use: general operations, the new water truck or tires for the antique truck.