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2018 Philmont Wildfires

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52 minutes ago, 160voyageur said:

I'm not, however that person could be from my unit. We've been chartered for over 80 years. Once upon a time our scouts traveled to England for the 3 peaks challenge. At the time they started calling themselves LeVoyageurs. In recent years our troop dropped the "Le" and became The Voyageurs. Either way, glad I stumbled upon this place. 

We're glad you did as well!  :)  (And we now return to our discussion only of current events at Philmont in this thread, so I don't get my fellow moderators annoyed with me.)

Edited by NJCubScouter
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5 hours ago, 160voyageur said:

@desertrat77, I'm wondering when your trek was originally scheduled for ? Also was it a North or South country trek ? We're due to arrive early August for  a trek to include Tooth and Mt Phillips. While I feel somewhat comfortable with our timing and location, still a lot of uncertainty. 

I expect they'll do everything in their power to accommodate everyone, as it is still very much a business. Like you, we'll be happy to hike through whatever conditions they allow. I'm also expecting crowded trail and camps. 

Our original start date was this Saturday.  All south country.

We have had one slight adjustment since my last post.  Still going at the end of July, but the itinerary was bumped by one number...we are still going to the south country, but by luck of the draw the new one is the crew's original number one choice anyway.    It includes Phillips and the Tooth.  My crew advisor said the Philmont staff has been wonderful working with him on our options.

I concur, it's a business.   I too am expecting crowded trails, camps, and chow lines in base camp. But I think the camaraderie will be great.  We were all going...and then we weren't...and then we are going again!  I imagine we'll have lots of stories to tell and some laughs about various inconveniences, lingering smoke, etc.

Edited by desertrat77

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9 hours ago, Buggie said:


If you ever plan to motor west 
Travel my way, take the highway that is best

Get your kicks on Route sixty six 

Well, maybe not. Depends on how you want to travel. But you could see picturesque Amarillo!  No?  

So happy to hear that you're able to go. Might want to be sure your bandannas can be used as ash filters. And if you see a bear, it could be Smokey... 

LOL, Buggie, I went through Amarillo last fall going to PASS.  Picturesque?  Well, it has grown quite a bit, I'll say that much.  And the Wendy's by the highway serves a darn fine double cheeseburger.  I feel a bit guilty, knowing the Joad's didn't enjoy such fare, but I'll think of them the next time I have one.

Smokey will probably need some rest/recuperation/health/morale/welfare leave when this is all over....

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Update Easter, 2019

"There's just a real sense of loss, kind of a grieving process so to speak," said Roger Hoyt, a longtime Scout leader and Philmont's general manager. "But at the end of the day, nature does renew itself and I think from the tragedy and the heartache comes this sense of renewal and opportunity."

More than a half-million dollars already has been raised and the rebuilding effort is well underway with the installation of 85 new campsites and work to shore up some of the ash-covered hillsides.

Crews were sidelined in January due to snow, but work has resumed in the lower elevations as the clock ticks down for the start of the summer season.

And it will be a banner season with a record number of Scouts — possibly as many as 24,000 — expected to pass through Philmont, Hoyt said. Some of them initially planned to make the trek in 2018 but were derailed due to the fire and the subsequent closure of the backcountry.

With nearly one-fifth of Philmont blackened, the ranch is not alone in its new mission to become more resilient as western land managers face larger and hotter wildfires fueled by overgrown forests and dry conditions.

In 2018, more than 8.7 million acres (13,594 square miles) burned across the U.S., with most of that being in the West, according to the National Interagency Fire Center . Records were broken in California, which marked its deadliest and most destructive blaze in November as the town of Paradise was destroyed and 85 people were killed.

Scientists have said the 2018 season was part of a longer trend of larger and more frequent fires in the western United States.

In New Mexico, more than 382,000 acres (597 square miles) burned in 2018 and the state has seen its largest and most destructive fires on record within the last decade.

Hoyt estimates Philmont Scout Ranch will spend $1 million in the next year on conservation and fire mitigation projects. That includes addressing silt that's washing down from barren slopes to clearing fuel from the forest floor, thinning trees and creating fuel breaks to keep fires from racing across other parts of the ranch.

While the work is relatively low-cost, it's labor intensive, Hoyt said.

In March alone, 140 volunteers spent over 6,000 hours on fire mitigation and restoration projects.

Within two years, he hopes pockets of the burned area can be used as an outdoor classroom for visiting Scouts.




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