Popular Scouts BSA summer camp survived the Dixie Fire
CHESTER, Calif. (KOLO) - There is some good news amidst the devastation wrought by the Dixie Fire in California. The BSA feared its nearly 80-year-old Camp Fleischmann might have been lost to the fire.
After the conclusion of the Scout’s summer camp season, the staff quickly closed the camp to escape the smoke from the Dixie Fire. Then on Wednesday, August 5th, the Dixie Fire exploded north past the town of Chester. Fire maps showed the camp in the middle of the fire area, leading to speculation that the camp had been destroyed.
On Saturday, August 7th, the Nevada Area Council of the BSA gave KOLO 8 News Now permission to enter the camp property.
All of the trees lining the road leading to the camp showed major fire damage. Tree stumps and random debris still burned and smoldered. Fire crews warned of the danger of falling trees, and you could occasionally hear loud cracks that were presumably from trees giving way.
Surprisingly, however, much of the camp itself remained undamaged. Burn scars ran close to many of the buildings, but the lodge and dining hall were intact.
The parade ground showed signs of scorching, and the flag pole ropes were burned, but the poles themselves still stood.
A small fire still burned near the camp’s outdoor chapel, but the chapel itself and the benches were untouched.
It’s believed the camp’s water supply was damaged, as well as the generator shack.
Across the lake, several teepees could be seen in the distance. The teepees were new additions to the camp this year.
There were also signs of wildlife, primarily chipmunks and squirrels running through the camp, but birds could be heard amidst the otherwise quiet camp.
The BSA will have to determine what repairs are needed to reopen the camp. The camp managers will also have to have the dead and damaged trees removed. However, the BSA has reason to be thankful despite the fire’s destruction.
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