Sawtooth Firewise Community, a subdivision of Pie Town, New Mexico, is famous for more than its pies and its inclusion in a pictorial documentary by Russell Lee in the 1940s featured on the Library of Congress’ Website. This small community of 24 has contributed a whopping $7,558.80 worth of volunteer hours towards making their community safer from wildfire, according to the Firewise Data Base. Their success can easily be emulated by other communities, as it is built upon a grass roots community effort of working together to lessen their wildfire risk. This community is one of many who attribute their participation in the Firewise Communities/USA® Recognition Program as helping to grow a sense of community besides creating a more resilient neighborhood in the event of a wildfire. Read about their story and learn about how your neighborhood can become a recognized Firewise Community.
Sawtooth at Pie Town, New Mexico
Sawtooth is a rural subdivision with large lots, most of them 10 acres or larger. Only about a dozen families live in the community year-round, other landowners stay for part of the year, or the entire summer. Most of the residents are retired.
Sawtooth held 3 Firewise Events in 2014. They held one event in February, and two in September. These were “chipper days”, when Catron County provided a chipper, and the residents cleared debris from their properties to be chipped.
Sawtooth says, “The success of our Firewise program has been because of the strong sense of community, and the way we enjoy working together as neighbor helping neighbor. We also understand the value of the Firewise program to us as individual landowners. We owed a lot of our success to our County Coordinator, George Berraras, who recently passed away.”