September 21, 2020
Dear Campers and Camp Supporters:
The reports coming back to us from our friends at the local Cal Trans yard say that it is really looking good up on the Jenks Lake Loop. It took a lot of energy and manpower to keep the fire from roaring through our camp and down the mountain to Jenks Lake Road, but reports are that all of our buildings are still intact and the drive into camp off of Jenks Lake Road actually looks pretty normal. Oh, how grateful I am for the fire fighters who have been working tirelessly to push the fire back from consuming our entire camp. This has been a challenging effort since the fire has wanted to push down into our camp and north towards the Boy Scout camp.
Camp mail has been collecting at the Yucaipa Post Office, so today I am running up to get the camp bills, making a bank deposit (thank you for your donations), and writing checks. Someplace in my day I hope to find time to give Daisy Doodle a bath. So, I am sending my report out before I have substantive updates. But snippets of news coming from the mountain top are positive. No camps have been lost in the Jenks Lake area, but Round Meadow, de Benneville Pines and Ta Ta Pochon all had fire around them. I expect there will be smoke damage to deal with inside our buildings (been thru this with the Lake Fire a few years ago), and the USFS will need to evaluate the safety of the mountain behind camp.
Click here to enjoy a ride from Angelus Oaks to our Camp. Jeff James (no relation to me) of Redlands Buzz cruises into Round Meadow, de Benneville Pines and Ta Ta Pochon. I quit watching after he drove up into our parking lot. Oh how I wished he had driven around the loop, but he has to stay out of the way of the fire crew and the heavy equipment in the camp’s road. (If you want, you can fast forward to 26:15 which is when he turns onto our road.)
Click here to see the helicopter filling at Jenks Lake. I appreciate this video. And I appreciate the fact that Jenks Lake is only a mile away from camp. There are still hot spots on the mountain behind camp, but I sense the fire that was a direct threat to the structures has been contained.
As I am writing this, I got news of a huge rock and debris slide on Hwy 38 between the Forest Falls hair pin turn and Angelus Oaks. Reports say the boulders are the size of a Volkswagon. Yikes! Scary. They are calling for heavy equipment to remove the rubble and boulders. Makes me worry for the safety of the Cal Trans workers. I do hope nothing falls on their heads while they are working.
So much has been lost. I think of the wild animals such as the bears, raccoons, coyotes and mountain lions, and I wonder if they have had time to flee someplace safe. Perhaps some of them will find refuge in the Barton Flats area now that their homes are burned out.
I wish you all good health and a safe place to lay your head each night. Some folks on the mountain top are not so lucky right now. My heart goes out to our employees who ended up at Red Cross stations — Covid and evacuation shelters are not a good combination. I wish everyone in temporary housing safety. Hopefully people can return home soon.