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Pine-Strawberry Fire Chief Gary Morris Has Been Found Alive

The search for Pine-Strawberry Fire Chief Gary Morris has come to an end with good news. Morris was located Wednesday afternoon after Gila County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue received a text from Morris at around 3 p.m. They told Morris to call 911 for a GPS location. A DPS ranger helicopter was able to find him. The 73-year-old Morris was hiking the Arizona Trail alone between Sunflower and Doll Baby Ranch in the Mazatal Wilderness southwest of Payson and was expected back Monday night. When he didn’t return Tuesday morning, his wife called the Sheriff’s office. The 73-year-old fire chief is an avid hiker and a member of Tonto Rim Search and Rescue. Morris had planned to complete the section of trail in four days and reportedly called his wife on Sunday telling her where he was and where he was going to camp. The last time he was heard from was Monday afternoon when he called his wife to tell her he was on schedule. There is no word on his condition.