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Pinecrest Lake RV Resort Rodeo Chediski 10 Year History

Ten years ago June 21-22, 2002 the Rodeo-Chediski fire’s destructive path took it through Pinecrest Lake destroying 75% of the homes and landscape leaving behind the awesome sight of a scorched American flag still hanging on the pole. A decade later the residents are celebrating with gratitude for the recovery and renewal of their White Mountain community.  

Arizona Republic and the US Forest Service have offered the following information. The Rodeo-Chediski Fire had a perimeter of 220 miles and burned 468,182 acres, destroying 465 homes, 6 businesses and 10 other structures. 50,000 people were evacuated while 6,600 firefighters, 44 aerial tankers and helicopters, 345 fire engines and 81 bulldozers took 60 days to declare the fire out. Property damage was estimated to be $102 Million dollars and the cost to fight the “Monster” was $43 Million. 

These stats are facts, but what can not be accounted for is the loss of the beautiful ponderosa pines forests that will not return in our lifetime. The Rodeo-Chediski was the largest forest fire in Arizona history in 2002. Since then the wildfires have continued to rage bigger and hotter and have burned 3,815,909 acres. In 2011 4 fires destroyed 1,006,577 acres and the Wallow Fire surpassed the Rodeo-Chediski at 538,049 acres.

The sobering fact is that “Arizona’s forests are on the brink of collapse” according to an article in the Arizona Republic by Shaun McKinnon on June 17, 2012. “Weakened by drought, insects, climate change and misguided management, Arizona’s forests could vanish in a generation.”

These facts and figures also do not account for the loss of personal mementoes, dreams and hard work of those who lost their homes or the wonderful wildlife that live there. Please renew your pledge to be PROACTIVE in the fight to save our dwindling Arizona forests.