VIDEO: Local Boy Scouts escape Colorado wildfire

Published on Friday, 21 June 2013 08:17 - Written by

BY BELEN CASILLAS

bcasillas@tylerpaper.com

A group of East Texas Boy Scouts has fled fires raging in Colorado and will be back in Tyler this morning, officials said.

Assistant Scoutmaster Kendall Shuler said in an email they will arrive between 9 and 11 a.m.

Troop 369 members were evacuated Wednesday from Walsenburg, Colo., as wildfires threatened, said Greg Leitch, assistant Scout executive of Boy Scouts of America East Texas Area Council, in an email.

The 41 Scouts and five Scout leaders were evacuated to a Red Cross shelter at Walsenburg High School before fire reached their campground at Spanish Peaks Scout Ranch. No one was injured.

“They are all safe. The charter busses are lined up and will be back home (today),” said the Rev. Stephanie Scott, associate pastor at Pollard United Methodist Church of Tyler.

Troop 369 is chartered to Pollard United Methodist Church, Leitch said.

The trip was part of a summer camp program for the local Scouts.

“The entire East Texas Area Council Scouting family is glad that our Scouts and leaders are safe and will be returning home later this week,” Leitch said. “Let me again stress that all Scouts and leaders are safe, parents have been notified, and we are looking forward for their return to Tyler.”

Scout officials said a troop leader’s vehicle and camping equipment were left behind and presumed lost to fire.

“The condition of the camp is unknown as the fire has not been contained, and no one is allowed in that area at this time,” Ms. Shuler said in an email. “Thanks to each of you for your prayers both now and until they return.”