LANE COUNTY, OR (KPTV) - The Willamette National Forest is praising a Stayton-area Boy Scouts troop for putting out a wildfire that escaped an abandoned campfire.
In a tweet, the department called the troop “unsung heroes” and said, “thanks to their quick work, we avoided a bigger incident.”
Troop 50 was on a 25-mile backpacking trip in the Waldo Lake area of the forest, when a troop leader came across a smoldering campfire near a lake on Saturday.
Videos and photos taken during the incident show the scouts and leaders using water bottles and a small shovel to dig around and douse the dry, smoking brush.
“There was really no one around for miles that could’ve done anything if we hadn’t been there,” said Stirling Fulks, 16.
Several of the scouts formed a chain to relay water from the lake to the fire, while others stayed with the group’s packs about 1.5 miles away.
Scout leaders said the fire was mostly burning in the roots of a bush and under a thick layer of pine needles and other dry debris.
They estimate the fire was about 200 square feet, and on an edge of a stone campfire ring.
“If we hadn’t caught it, we most likely would have been evacuating that night from where we were and trying to get out of there because it was spreading pretty well,” said Assistant Scoutmaster Stephen Fulks.
BC Nelson, a father who attended the trip and helped put out the fire praised the boys for their willingness to help and work quickly.
“They really did an amazing job putting this out one liter at a time – it was a lot of work,” Nelson said. “There were just trees everywhere. It would’ve been another forest fire.”
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