Smoky air, threat of fire disrupt camping scouts |

Smoky air, threat of fire disrupt camping scouts

Marshall Miller of Nevada City returned home four days early from his Boy Scouts camp this week because the camp near Chico, where he’d planned to spend the week, was evacuated due to fire danger.

Marshall, 13, belongs to Boy Scouts Troop 24, comprising students from Grass Valley and Nevada City schools, said Lynda Miller, his mother and an assistant parent leader with Boy Scouts.

“People weren’t so much concerned about the camp, but were worried that the highways in and out of the camp – specifically Highway 32 – would be compromised,” Lynda Miller said.

Camp Lassen was evacuated around 4 p.m. Tuesday, Lynda Miller said. Campers took shelter at the Neighborhood Church in Chico, and all the Troop 24 boys returned Tuesday, she added.

“We have been alerted in the past, but camps have never had to be evacuated,” said Jim Martin, scout executive with the Golden Empire Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

The evacuation “was a little bit of fun for the boys, but it was also a bit scary, because they had limited time to pack what they had,” Lynda Miller said. “But I guess they were happy to get away from the smoke. It was getting pretty smoky up there.”

The Girl Scouts’ Northern Mines Service Unit in Nevada City also had to change their venue for week-long activities, said Michelle Baker, day-camp program director with the Girl Scouts.

“We had planned daytime activities all week at Pioneer Park, but due to the smoky conditions, we moved to St. Canice Center,” Baker said. “Every day, we are doing something to donate to local nonprofits. (On Wednesday) we tie-died pillowcases to send to our troops in Iraq.”

To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail or call 477-4229.

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