Stage 1 Fire Restriction

Please read the following information from the USFS regarding the current Stage 1 Fire Restriction.

 To help you understand where and when fire restrictions and possible closures exist, there are several resources available. The public can obtain additional fire information via the following:

• Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests
• Northeastern Arizona Public Information System or call 311 or 928-333-3412
• Arizona Fire Restrictions
• Arizona Fire Prevention & Information (fire restrictions & red flag alerts)

Leave Baby Animals Be Says Game and Fish

With summer almost here we are approaching the time of year when elk calves and pronghorn fawns are born. Each year, the Arizona Game and Fish Department receives calls when these young are picked up by people who believe the animals to be abandoned.

AZGFD understands the public’s desire to help the apparently “abandoned” animals. In reality, people are often taking a newborn animal from its parents who have “parked” the baby while they forage for food and water, sometimes for most of the day.

Unfortunately, most elk calves and pronghorn fawns must be euthanized because they cannot be released back into the wild, and zoos and sanctuaries do not have space to hold them. Elk and deer mothers will often leave their young hidden in vegetation for several hours while she is out feeding.

If a fawn or calf attempts to follow you, gently push on its shoulders until it lies down. Don’t attempt to capture the fawn or calf, even if it appears to be sick or injured. Please record the animal’s location and contact the nearest AGFD office. Once removed from the wild, elk calves and pronghorn fawns are seldom able to be returned to the wild. There are limited facilities to care for these animals and disease concerns make it very difficult to find homes for hand-raised deer and elk orphans.

“The bottom line is that ‘helping’ or ‘rescuing’ baby wildlife unnecessarily creates an “orphan,” and in some cases is inhumane. The mother is often left searching for her young, and baby wildlife raised by humans is less likely to survive when they are released back into the wild,” Mike Godwin, AZGFD field supervisor, said.

“It’s reassuring to know our society values wildlife and is passionate about caring for wild animals,” Godwin said. “But, people need to do what is best for the baby wildlife and leave them alone even if it’s difficult to accept.”

If you have questions about a specific situation, contact one of the wildlife rehabilitators listed on the department’s website at: Or call the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Pinetop Regional office at 928-532-3680.

– From the White Mountain Independent, photo by George Andrejko-AZGFD. Link to article here.

Photo Radar Ban Hits Governor’s Desk

The Legislature’s yearly effort to eliminate photo speed and red light enforcement in Arizona has notched a small victory and now will be heading to Gov. Doug Ducey’s desk for approval before it becomes law.

The Senate Thursday gave final approval to a bill banning photo radar on state highways that will affect just two cities — El Mirage and Star Valley.

Many White Mountain residents and Valley residents coming up to visit the area through Payson are snapped at the halfway point for exceeding the speed limit. The Town of Star Valley, just outside of Payson, has a population of 2,310 and uses the revenue from photo radar tickets to finance the town’s contract with the county sheriff’s office, a town official recently told the Payson Roundup.

In addition to the revenues, town officials say that since the cameras have been up on Highway 260, there has not been one fatal auto accident in the area.

(Click here to read the full story from the White Mountain Independent)


CableONE To Bring Gigabit Internet

Show Low will be able to lay claim to the title “Gig City” with the 2016 launch of GigaONE, the company’s new gigabit service.

The company’s newest speed is 40 times faster than the average speed currently offered across the United States and will be available to the majority of Cable ONE customers by the end of 2016.

“GigaONE will support the technology needs of the communities we serve, now and in the future,” said Joe Felbab, vice president of marketing for Cable ONE. “We are excited to be able to offer gigabit service to nearly 1.5 million homes in the markets we serve.”

Read the full article from the White Mountain Independent here.  Get the details on GigaONE from Cable ONE.

Winter Driving Tips

If you’re coming up for the holidays or later this winter to ski or just enjoy the snow, here are some winter driving tips from ADOT that can help you navigate the roads safely.

  • Slow down, be patient and drive safely. Plan for extra travel time. Use extra caution if snowplows are on the road.
  • Wear warm clothing.
  • Be aware that ice forms on bridges first and is hard to see.
  • When driving behind a snowplow, stay back at least four car lengths. If you think you’re traveling too close to a plow, you probably are.
  • Never pass a snowplow that’s clearing snow and ice off the road.
  • Make sure your tank is at least three-quarters full.
  • Notify someone of your route, destination and expected arrival time.
  • Pack an emergency preparedness kit that includes blankets, extra clothes, a flashlight, an ice scraper, a shovel, sand for traction, a fully charged cellphone and hazard warning lights or reflectors.
  • Brake slowly to avoid panic braking or jerking the steering wheel.
  • Increase the distance between you and traffic ahead.
  • Carry plenty of food and water, as well as any medications you need.
  • Carry tire chains and snow cables, or use snow tires.

For more information on driving in wintry conditions, please visit

WME Theaters To Host Star Wars Party

Naked Mobile and WME Theaters are teaming up to host a night of unforgettable Star Wars-themed fun on Thursday, Dec. 17, from 6 to 10 p.m. at WME’s Village 8 in Lakeside to celebrate the opening of the much anticipated movie “The Force Awakens.”

The party is free, open to the public and will feature costume and trivia contests with great prizes, a Jedi Training Academy, a Star Wars photo booth, a DJ playing everyone’s favorite movie theme music and more.

Every one of the eight theaters will be showing the movie that evening, with show times starting around 10 p.m.

More about the event here.

*From the White Mountain Independent.

Christmas Tree Cutting Permits

The holiday season is upon us, a time of year many look forward to all year… celebrations with friends and family, tasty treats being baked in the oven, gift giving and decking the halls and of course the trimming of the tree.  If your tradition includes cutting your own fresh holiday tree, you’ll be pleased to know that tree cutting permits are on sale now.

Permits are $15 for up to a 10-foot tall tree and can be purchased at all five of the district ranger stations as well as the Mogollon Rim Visitors Center (after November 27) and the Forest Supervisors office in Springerville. In past years, permits were sold at Big Five Sporting Goods – but that is not the case this year, so visit the nearest ranger station or forest visitors center to purchase this year.
Visit the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest site, for additional information and ranger station locations.

UFO Abduction 40 Years Later

On Nov. 5, 1975, Travis Walton was part of a seven-man logging crew working in the Sitgreaves National Forest near Heber. As they were leaving that night, they all saw a bright light off to their right. When they got closer, they saw a bright saucer-shaped UFO hovering about 20 feet over a clearing. Walton’s recall of the event, including his purported abduction, was the basis for the book and movie “Fire In The Sky”.

To mark the occasion, Walton hosted a Skyfire Summit UFO conference in Overgaard last weekend.

Read the full story here, from the White Mountain Independent