Beaver Valley Estates, a Firewise Community since 2008, builds upon past success. This community was originally established as part of the Homestead Act in the late 1800’s. In the 1950’s it was developed into a resort with rentable log cabins, a water company, a railroad, complete with a train station and several train stops – and an exact replica of a western town, including a general store, shops, saloon, and jail. It was here in the community originally called “Mountain City”, where Lew King broadcast his nationwide radio show in the 1960’s. In 1966, the community became a homeowner’s association called The Beaver Valley Improvement Association that has both full time and part time residents.
The community has recognized their risk to wildfire and the risk to one of Arizona’s few natural water sources- the spring fed East Verde River- that runs directly through their community. They have worked to lessen their risk by collaborating with their local fire district and becoming a recognized Firewise Community. The community shared how in the first year of being a Firewise Community they achieved success. In 2009..., "an unattended campfire in a nearby campground created a wildfire. The fire burned nearly 800 acres and came within 250 feet of entering the community. Our evacuation procedures were implemented, and the planning, preparation, and benefits of having a fire department and being a Firewise community quickly paid off. The volunteer fire department was the first on the scene and prevented the flames from entering our property. With the Fire District’s skills, training, and abilities – along
The community now has implemented additional opportunities to enhance homeowner education, engage residents in work projects, apply for grants to assist with project work, enhancing collaborative efforts, and develop effective communication strategies to keep engagement with current residents and reach out to new neighbors and other communities. Every Firewise community has a story about success that they can share. Taking simple steps year after year helps a community build upon their Firewise successes and become more resilient in the event of a wildfire.