September 15, 2020
Dear Campers and Camp Supporters:
So many of you have emailed me to ask how Camp is doing and how staff are coping. Thank you for your outreach of love and support during this time of worry and wait. I am sure you can imagine it is difficult for staff to be away from camp and to not be there to keep watch over your treasured place --
de Benneville Pines.
All staff are safe right now, evacuated to homes of their friends and family in Redlands, Yucaipa, and Apple Valley.
According to USFS reports, "The El Dorado Fire remains very dynamic as the terrain driven fire aligns with the predominant wind influences in the area. Fire activity slowly burned down slope towards the Angelus Oaks community overnight allowing fire resources the opportunity to secure indirect and direct handlines in preparation for active fire potential today. Firefighters are poised and ready to conduct firing operations around Angeles Oaks if needed. Fire crews are in position to directly attack the fire with both hand lines and hose lines.
Predicted winds have changed over the fire today with a southwest wind influence at 8 to 10 mph gusting to 20 mph over 6,000 feet elevation. The weather remains dry and hot and the fire will align with topography and burn actively upslope towards the San Bernardino Peak (northeast) towards the Lake Fire scar."
What does this mean for Camp? In looking at the fire map, the active wildfire is burning at John's Meadow area and moving toward the east and south, burning uphill. The plan is to air drop water and chemicals in such a way that flames are driven away from structures and up into the scar of the Lake Fire of several years ago. You may remember our first big brush with a serious wildfire in 2015 when the Lake Fire took off right above our water tower and move quickly into the wilderness area above camp, ultimately burning 30,000+ acres of the national wilderness and forest. If the present fire can burn into the Lake Fire scar, then it will burn itself out in this area.
With a continued southeast wind, the fire should keep climbing up the side of the mountain and above the camp. Fingers crossed.
I know there are many fires in the greater southern California area that could be impacting your lives as well. My heartfelt support goes out to you if you are dealing with an evacuation from your home. I know your anxiety and worry. You are an important member of the extended camp family, and our thoughts and good hopes are with you as well.
Thank you all for reaching out with your heartfelt emails and Facebook messages. I am trying to respond as I can, but if I miss getting back with you, please know that your message of love and support is very much appreciated.
Be safe and stay healthy. I cherish you all.