RV Park and Campground Briefs
From KMJ Radio, Fresno:
Progress continues to be made in battling the Motor Fire west of Yosemite National Park.
Crews have managed to keep the blaze from growing beyond the 5,231 acres it’s charred since sparking up a week ago when a motorhome’s propane tank exploded along Highway 140 near Cedar Lodge.
As of Thursday morning, the wildfire was 85% contained, with full containment likely by this weekend.
Some 500 firefighters remain on the scene mopping up hot spots and repairing lands that were damaged by the flames.
From The Great Falls Tribune:
Bureau of Land Management officials believe an unattended campfire was responsible for an Aug. 7 burn at the Hole in the Wall Campground in the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument.
It was one of four fires in the monument attributed to unattended campfires in the last two years. A river ranger found an unattended campfire in Eagle Creek campground about the same time as this year’s Hole in the Wall fire.
Gary Slagel, monument manager, said, “There was not weather in the area so it wasn’t lightning. We can only assume it was human (caused).”
The fire damaged the drip irrigation system and some fence line and scorched one wall of a shelter, according to an email from Mark R. Schaefer, a supervisory recreation planner for the monument.
“We were especially saddened, as we planted three dozen cottonwood and green ash saplings in that campground in 1998. They were just starting to flourish,” said Michael Dalton of the Sunburst Foundation in Great Falls.
“Had it not been for the Geraldine Volunteer Fire Department and the natural fire line of Mud Spring Coulee, there could have been a catastrophe,” Schaefer said in his e-mail to river outfitters.
From The Payson Roundup:
A man was killed and a woman barely escaped with her life Wednesday (Aug. 31) in an early morning blaze in a Star Valley RV park.
Ruth Butcher, 88, was sleeping in the forward area of a fifth-wheel trailer in the Lamplighter RV Park when she smelled smoke and heard popping noises coming from the rear of the trailer about 3:20 a.m., said Lt. Tim Scoot with the Gila County Sheriff’s Office.
Butcher escaped the home just in time, but her son, Stanley Slaughter, 64, died.
Gila County Sheriff detectives are still determining a cause of the fire, but fire officials believe a cigarette may have been the cause.
From The Daily Freeman-Journal, Webster City, Iowa:
Briggs Woods Conservation will start campground renovation work at Little Wall Lake Park.
At the board’s meeting on Tuesday (Aug. 30), director Brian Lammers said that the work will involve 10 new campsites that will be located directly east of the shop building at the park. There will be full hook up capability for each site. He said that work will begin in mid-September and should be finished for Memorial Day weekend next year. He said that the board will be looking at the possibility of adding 16 more campsites this fall, which while be discussed at the September board meeting.
Lammers said that he is working on final numbers for construction costs for the cabin project for Briggs Woods, Little Wall Lake and Bell’s Mill.
“An engineering study on the septic systems for Briggs Woods and Little Wall Lake is currently being completed by Ryken Engineers (of Webster City),” he said. “We hope to start on a couple of those cabins this fall.”
The board will decide at the September meeting in which park the cabin construction project will begin.
From The Vancouver Sun:
A family frightened off a cougar after it attacked an 18-month-old boy at a day-use park in Vancouver Island’s Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
The family – who asked not to be identified – had just packed up their gear at Kennedy Lake when the cougar leaped out and grabbed the boy.
“The cougar surprised them really quickly from the forested edge,” Parks Canada’s Arlene Armstrong said. “It was a very quick encounter.”
Armstrong said the adults responded perfectly and pulled the injured boy from the cougar’s claws.
As it lunged for his sister, they screamed at the cat. The cougar paused and did not make contact with the girl, but didn’t run away, Armstrong said.
The adults continued to aggressively stare at and shout at the cougar, as they picked up the two children and slowly backed away from the predator.
The boy was taken to the nearest hospital, about 18 miles by road in Tofino. He was later airlifted to the intensive care unit of the BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver, where he was in serious condition Tuesday with his mother by his side. He is expected to recover. Meanwhile, back at Kennedy Lake, the hunt began for the cougar Monday night.
The hunt includes tracking dogs, four provincial conservation officers, RCMP officers from nearby Ucluelet, 20 Parks Canada staff and members of the West Coast Search and Rescue team.
If found and positively identified as the attacker, the cougar will be killed because it poses a public safety risk, according to Parks Canada.
The Kennedy Lake day-use area was closed Tuesday. All other areas of the national park reserve remain open.
The last time a cougar attack in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve resulted in injuries was in 1984, said Armstrong.