PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A local Boy Scout Troop is credited with preventing a forest fire.
Scouts from Troop 50 in the Stayton/Sublimity area were out at Waldo Lake in the Willamette National Forest when they came across a campfire that was still burning.
“It had smoldered through the pine cones because the fire ring was put on top of the pine cones,” Clifford Gamble said.
The abandoned fire starting to spread outside the pit.
“It would have caught trees around it — that was smoldering underneath,” Luke West said. “If the wind picked up, it could have reached the trees, caught those on fire.”
They knew they couldn’t just walk away, so they filled a bucket and their water bottles with water from a nearby lake and after about 2 hours of work, the fire was completely out.
Their scoutmaster — an Oregon Department of Forestry firefighter — wasn’t with them on this trip because he was returning from another fire.
He said he couldn’t be more proud.
“These guys mopped it up like pros,” he said. “They did just outstanding.”
The Forest Service said in the last couple of weeks, hundreds of abandoned campfires have been found burning in the forests in the region.
Authorities said campfires sparked the Milepost 97 fire, which burned about 13,000 acres south of Roseburg along I-5.