North Fork Boy Scout Troop 357, spent Aug. 17 learning about the effects of the Aspen Fire and the efforts to put the fire out by firefighters.
The Scouts began the day by touring North Fork Volunteer Fire Station 11. While there, they were able to view the water tender, engine and squad truck. During their visit they were shown both structure and wildland firefighting clothing and equipment.
Station personnel explained how various equipment is used for fire suppression and medical calls. The Scouts were given the opportunity to experience first hand how heavy firefighting safety gear and hose packs are.
After leaving the fire station, the troop drove to the US Forest Service heliport where the Scouts were given a tour of one of the firefighting helicopters being used on the Aspen Fire. Troop members were given the opportunity to experience the close quarters of being in a helicopter.
Members of the flight crew explained how they use the helicopter and equipment to suppress fires.
"During the visit our Scouts learned that one of the flight crew conducting the demonstration was an Eagle Scout from the valley," said Dave Smith, Scout leader.
Following the tours of the fire station and helicopter, the Scouts drove the Mammoth Pool Road to Mammoth Pool Reservoir. Several stops were made to view the effects of the Aspen Fire as well as methods used to control the fire.
The Scouts had the opportunity to observe bulldozer firelines from both across the canyon as well as adjacent to where they were standing. At Mile High curve, they were able to watch a large helicopter conduct water drops on the edge of the fire.
During the day, the Scouts were shown a fire history map of the Mountain Area showing previous fires dating back to the early 1900s. They also were shown the Aspen Fire day shift plans and maps, and the national daily fire situation report. The Scouts learned how these documents are used to assist in fire suppression.
The events of the day provided the Scouts with an opportunity to work on several requirements for the Fire Safety and Forestry merit badges.
This event is one of the troop's monthly activities held throughout the year.
Boy Scout Troop 357 meets 7-8:30 p.m. every Monday at the Scout Building in North Fork. Boys between the ages of 11 and not yet 18 or 10 ½ and going into sixth grade are eligible to become a Scout.
Details: Scoutmaster Dave Smith, (559) 877-2186.