Castle Valley Comments
May 8, 2014
by Ron Drake
May 08, 2014 | 1344 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Seven people from Castle Valley and three from the Moab State Farm office gathered at a local residence to clear brush and grass away from a home, fence and other exposures, making the property better prepared in the event of a wild fire. The effort was part of an inaugural Wildland Community Preparedness Day, which was sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association, Fire Adapted Communities and State Farm Insurance.

A total of $10,000 in funding was made available in $500 grants to implement the wildfire preparedness day neighborhood projects across the country last Saturday, May 3. In conjunction with the local project, the State Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands provided a large chipper machine to not only reduce the brush and limbs into usable wood chips from the project residence but also nearly 20 other properties in the valley. The chipper and crew were in the valley this past Tuesday and Wednesday.


Five members of the Castle Valley Fire Department attended the annual Spring Engine Training, which is conducted by the State Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands. The classes were held in Monticello this year but the training alternates among locations in Emery, Carbon, San Juan, and Grand Counties.

The department members who attended the classes attended a dinner at the San Juan County Fair Grounds followed by a four-hour class about fire safety and preparedness that focused on recent large fire incidents and how they could have been handled differently. The following day was devoted to fire scenarios while working with two of the department’s fire engines. Several hundred firefighters participate in the event to hone their skills and become more familiar with firefighting equipment, which includes dozens of engines brought to the training for that purpose. Those who attended from the Castle Valley Fire Department included Jazmine Duncan, Lesley Craig, Bob Russell, Bob Lippman, and Mitch Stock.


The Castle Valley Library will again be presenting a quarterly movie at the Castle Valley Town Hall this Friday evening at 8 p.m. The latest presentation will be “Sometimes a Great Notion” starring Paul Newman, Henry Fonda and Lee Remick. The movie is based on a book by Ken Kesey about trials and tribulations within a small Oregon timber community.

This is the third in a series of movies presented by librarian Faylene Roth for the enjoyment of everyone in the valley and of course, as in the past, there will be popcorn.


And speaking of a community movie, 32 years ago this week, the Castle Valley Branch of the LDS Church presented the movie, “Brother of the Wind,” a wilderness adventure film. The late Tex McClatchy of Moab introduced the film and explained to the packed audience in the church building that he played a small role in the movie and his plane was also used in one of the scenes. The church presented monthly movies for the community back then, when it was before the time of satellite television and any form of video recording devices. Before the existence of the church building, the movies were shown at various locations outside during the summer and in a shed or garage where a crowd could gather during the winter months.

Also that year, members of the Castle Valley Irrigation Company were busy building an irrigation canal in an area where there had been a history of washouts due to summer floods. Irrigation officials said at the time that floods from the mountain washed out the ditch in the same area three times. In this project, 20 and 50-foot lengths of 24-inch pipe were acquired, cut in half lengthwise and bolted together to form a metal canal. This particular phase involved 500 feet and an additional 500 feet were to be installed later in the fall. The project also included a silt trap. Officials said the completion of the work would drastically cut down on water loss and time spent on rebuilding ditches after floods.

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