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Keep the first responders and all those affected by this wildfire in your prayers. I might need to come up with a Plan B for our Philmont trip this year, but I hope it won't be necessary.

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Philmont is now under mandatory evacuation "Go!" status.

https://www.krqe.com/news/wildfires/fire-reported-in-colfax-county/?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=socialflow&fbclid=IwAR0ikS__WSf3YkDXBJ0yud5XQHJaLc_RAQvL0jAx0fQ9Wjc2hMMXmLqD7GI

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – A fire started April 17, around 4:15 p.m. in northeastern New Mexico located on private land north of Ocate near the Mora and Colfax County lines.

NM Highway 120 from mile marker 14 to 26 and areas east of County Road CR009, north of NM Highway 120, Rayado, Sweetwater, Miami, and Sunnyside, and the Philmont Scout Ranch are under mandatory evacuation and set to Go! Status.

CR009 and Highway 120 from milepost 14 to the 26, and the junction of HWY 120 and HWY 442 are closed.

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Cooks Peak Fire Update: April 26th, 2022, 11:00 AM MDT
The Cooks Peak Fire is estimated at 54,021 acres and 18% contained. There has been no report of further loss of any Philmont structures.
Philmont personnel were able to survey areas within the burn zone and Olympia trail camp has survived. There has been loss to a significant amount of fencing and gates. Philmont continues to protect structures and the Carson Meadows cabin was wrapped yesterday with fire retardant material.
The precipitation yesterday was a significant aid in fighting the fire, however there are still several red flag days ahead. Fire crews, including hotshot teams, continue operations to contain further spread.
The Philmont staff has returned to work and continue to prepare for the summer season as scheduled. The spike camp at the Philmont Training Center continues to operate as a host for 150 firefighters and is preparing for additional personnel to arrive.
We are grateful for all those involved in fighting the fire and keeping Philmont and our surrounding communities safe.
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As an older Scouter, I've got a mild gripe here.  Not to diminish the work of the fire crews or others doing everything they can to battle this or other fires.  

I trekked Philmont in 1971, and we cooked over wood fires made from deadfall and dead branches still on trees (gold in rainy weather).  We heard a rumor that they were shifting to lightweight stoves in the next year or two while we were there, and it was an accurate rumor.  So that means there is 50 years of fuel now piled up on the forest floors of Philmont.  And we see the results.  Might be time to go back to old school cooking methods, and start clearing some of that accumulation before it's done for us.  Anyone listening?  

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31 minutes ago, Better4itall said:

As an older Scouter, I've got a mild gripe here.  Not to diminish the work of the fire crews or others doing everything they can to battle this or other fires.  

I trekked Philmont in 1971, and we cooked over wood fires made from deadfall and dead branches still on trees (gold in rainy weather).  We heard a rumor that they were shifting to lightweight stoves in the next year or two while we were there, and it was an accurate rumor.  So that means there is 50 years of fuel now piled up on the forest floors of Philmont.  And we see the results.  Might be time to go back to old school cooking methods, and start clearing some of that accumulation before it's done for us.  Anyone listening?  

We went in 2019, the year after the big fire that went through Philmont. We had a fire every night. This was encouraged specifically to reduce the amount of fuel on the ground for wildfires.

I believe over 20,000 people go through Philmont every year. We saw crews having fires every night. I would venture that more dead wood is cleared now than in 1971 with that many crews.

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2 hours ago, Better4itall said:

As an older Scouter, I've got a mild gripe here.  Not to diminish the work of the fire crews or others doing everything they can to battle this or other fires.  

I trekked Philmont in 1971, and we cooked over wood fires made from deadfall and dead branches still on trees (gold in rainy weather).  We heard a rumor that they were shifting to lightweight stoves in the next year or two while we were there, and it was an accurate rumor.  So that means there is 50 years of fuel now piled up on the forest floors of Philmont.  And we see the results.  Might be time to go back to old school cooking methods, and start clearing some of that accumulation before it's done for us.  Anyone listening?  

It depends on what kind of world you want to live in. It's only about 150 years or so that people were able to strip the Western  landscape for firewood. Prior to that, dead wood and vegetation lay where it fell and lots of things lived off of it. You can justify removing deadwood and understory for human fire safety, because humans have moved into these areas, but it means a lot of wildlife that depended on that cycle of forest and brushland litter, fire, and renewal will struggle to find habitat in an increasingly developed world. Our national parks are being over run. During the pandemic, every little green spot even in fairly rural areas was over run. Even places that are supposed to preserve the concept of wildness and be uninterfered with cannot function that way. The concept of Outdoor Ethics mean leaving wild lands wild. As scouts, we either buy into that and mean it, or we don't. 

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33 minutes ago, yknot said:

The concept of Outdoor Ethics mean leaving wild lands wild.

Yes, but part of that wildness was periodic, natural fires to burn away the accumulated fuel.  We have interfered with that, stopped those fires, and let the fuel pile up.

Good stewardship includes prescribed burns.

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4 hours ago, Better4itall said:

we cooked over wood fires made from deadfall and dead branches still on trees

I was at Philmont in 1971 also.  We'd get cooking fire firewood from within a hundred yards or so of our campsite.  Maybe some folks would go 150 yards, but that would likely be the maximum distance deadfall would be scavenged.  The wood would be up to about 2 inches or 2.5 inches in diameter, max, as that would reduce to coals fairly quickly.  Someone can do the math, but it may be that the total area scavenged within such radii of all the campsites on the Ranch of relatively small diameter wood would not likely impact a wildfire very much.  Scavenging deadfall would not seem to have any effect on lessening crowning fires, racing through the tree tops, nor standing dead trees, nor downed trees (logs).  Back in those days I recall that each crew was definitely issued an ax, and I think a bow saw, so crews had the ability to process wood of larger diameter than 2.5" into kindling by splitting it ("batoning" we now call it), but I do not recall if that procedure was taught to crews.  It is an important point, for if crews were taught how to baton larger wood into kindling size wood, crews would be scavenging larger wood and somewhat reducing the fuel load.

I do have to admit that even in my day there, Cito was rumored to have run out of suitable deadfall for cooking fires and imported firewood from Colorado.  I think that is very likely true.  I was at Cito in 1968 and there was hardly a twig anywhere on the ground.  On the other hand, Cito, was the largest, most heavily visited and camped camp at Philmont, situated as it is at the waist of Philmont, and the crossroads to just about everywhere. Cito was scavenged clean.  But other camps I visited were not.

I have an amateur's understanding of forestry wildfire prevention methods, but learning more every day.  My professional forestry friends tell me that understory fuel reduction on a methodical basis is the path to moderating runaway wildfire.  I am also told that administrative types see such efforts as an expense for which there is no budget-until there is a runaway wildfire-THEN cost is no object.  

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2 hours ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

Yes, but part of that wildness was periodic, natural fires to burn away the accumulated fuel.  We have interfered with that, stopped those fires, and let the fuel pile up.

Good stewardship includes prescribed burns.

That's what I said -- maintain the cycle of litter, fire, renewal. We're in the middle of prescribed burns where I am. Makes life interesting. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

White House Press Briefing May 4, 2022:  (Note Philmont Scout Ranch is in Colfax County.)

Today, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. declared that a major disaster exists in the State of New Mexico and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by wildfires and straight-line winds beginning on April 5, 2022, and continuing.

The President’s action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Colfax, Lincoln, Mora, San Miguel, and Valencia.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Federal funding also is available to State and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures (Category B), limited to direct federal assistance and reimbursement for mass care including evacuation and shelter support in the counties of Colfax, Lincoln, Mora, San Miguel, and Valencia.

...

More at source:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/05/04/president-joseph-r-biden-jr-approves-new-mexico-disaster-declaration/

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Cooks Peak Fire Update May5, 2022, 8:30 AM MDT

The Cooks Peak Fire is estimated at 59,359 acres and is 97% contained. 278 personnel assigned.
Wind today with gusts 25+ mph. This is the first day in May without a red flag warning. Future forecasts show red flag warnings beginning this weekend.
Today is the day of the transition from a Type 2 to a Type 3 team. Philmont is thankful to be hosting the Type 3 team of 85 personnel at the Philmont Training Center.
A very special thanks to the Type 2 team. Many will be moving to the Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire just to our south.
We are grateful for all personnel on these fires and their continued safety as they continue to protect Philmont and our surrounding communities.
Please look for the next Cooks Peak Fire Update on Monday, May 9, 2022. This will include an evaluation of Philmont property damaged or threatened by the fire.
To donate to the Fire Recovery and Mitigation Fund click below. 100% of your donation will go to Philmont:
 
During this time of financial restructuring, we are not permitted to accept donations from the following states: California, District of Columbia, Illinois, Kansas, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Virgin Islands or Wisconsin.  :huh:

When you click on above link you eventually reach the Boy Scouts of America, National Council, Philmont Fire Recovery & Mitigation Fund webpage with this popup:

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https://www.philmontscoutranch.org/cooks-peak-fire-updates/

:huh:

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)
On 5/8/2022 at 8:15 PM, RememberSchiff said:

...

 

To donate to the Fire Recovery and Mitigation Fund click below. 100% of your donation will go to Philmont:
 
During this time of financial restructuring, we are not permitted to accept donations from the following states: California, District of Columbia, Illinois, Kansas, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Virgin Islands or Wisconsin.  :huh:

When you click on above link you eventually reach the Boy Scouts of America, National Council, Philmont Fire Recovery & Mitigation Fund webpage with this popup:  (Note you get this popup for any online donation to National, not just Philmont - RS)

image.png.654a778e6b828a99ea51a4128d11de37.png

https://www.philmontscoutranch.org/cooks-peak-fire-updates/

:huh:

The above was questioned by a Kansas resident on

https://www.facebook.com/PhilmontScoutRanch/

Another Facebook poster suggested, consider a donation to the Philmont Staff Association’s (PSA) fire recovery and mitigation fund. The PSA is a non-profit comprised of former staffers, which set up a similar fund in 2018. Please read more here: https://www.philstaff.org/store/donations/fire_relief/

Edited by RememberSchiff
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