The Forest Service is putting the final touches on a helicopter base near Star Valley just in time for the lead-in to the 2023 fire season. The Gila County Board of Supervisors approved granting the Forest Service an easement through its road maintenance yard near Star Valley off Highway 260. The easement will give the Forest Service access to a helicopter base it is building. “It’s not a helicopter pad – it’s a base, with a hanger, administrative area and crew quarters. If you’ve never been there – it’s quite a construction site,” said Public Works Director Homero Vela. …Communities like Payson, Star Valley and Pine rank as among the most fire-prone in the nation, surrounded by thick, overgrown forests. …Air resources remain one of the best ways to stop a fire when it’s small.