Youth in Church and Boy Scout Camps Seek Evacuation from Mountains

UPDATE—PINE MOUNTAIN (March 21, 2011 at 10 p.m.)—This is a press release from the Kern County Sheriff. The KCSO Search & Rescue team, was dispatched to the Frazier Mountain area where two seperate youth groups that had been camping over the weekend had become stranded due to the large amount of snow that had fallen in the area.
When Search & Rescue Volunteers arrived they found both groups’ vehicles were completely covered with snow and the campers were unable to get them unstuck from the snow. They also found that both groups were out of supplies and and had limited heat sources.

With the assistance of Kern County Fire and US Forest Service, all campers were safely escorted off the mountain. Snow cats, four wheel drive trucks, and large buses were used.

Both groups were visiting from the Southern California area. One was a Church Youth group from Lancaster and the other was a youth group out of Los Angeles.

All campers were found to be in good health and transported to waiting buses where they were taken back to their homes.

UPDATE—PINE MOUNTAIN (March 21, 2011 at 2:46 p.m.)— Sean Collins, speaking for the Kern County Fire Department released this report at 2:46 p.m.: Approximately 90 to 100 children between the ages of 10 to 17 have been cut off and stranded at a local campground near to Pine Mountain Club.

The group of youngsters staying at the Mil Petrero Campground were cut off on Saturday following several feet of snow fall. KCSO Search and Rescue made a formal request to Kern County Fire Department to assist with blankets, food and use of a bus to transport the group back to their meeting point at the Flying J in Frazier Park.

Currently the US Forest Service is assisting in providing a snow plough to clear the roadway into the camp to provide access for the KCFD bus.

CUDDY VALLEY—The Mountain Enterprise  has learned that because roads are not plowed in Cuddy Valley, about 50 youth and 30 adults from the Bethel in the Hills Pentecostal Church Campground in Cuddy Valley are planning to walk out of the camp down Darling Road to Cuddy Valley Road to be picked up on waiting buses.

PINE MOUNTAIN (March 21, 2011 at 1 p.m.)–The Mountain Enterprise has been informed that Kern County Sheriffs Southern Kern Search and Rescue responding to assist approximately 80 people evacuate from the Mil Potrero Boy Scouts Camp. According to camp caretaker, Jason Judd, the youth were scheduled to leave on Sunday afternoon, but snow conditions made it impossible for the buses to access the camp.

Food supplies were budgeted to last until Sunday, Judd reports. Camp counselors are said to have walked into Pine Mountain Village on Sunday night to secure provisions from the Pine Mountain General Store for the evening and this morning. Judd said the campers have a propane heater, but that the heater blower requires electricity to function. Judd said CHP Officer Shuck has confirmed that buses are ready at the freeway, and that they may proceed to the Mil Potrero "Y" at the base of Mount Pinos.

We have not yet been informed how the scouts will be transported up the "S" curves to meet the buses, a distance of about six miles up winding mountain roads.

CUDDY VALLEY—The Mountain Enterprise has been advised that there are also another (about) 50 junior high and high school children plus 30 adults who are snowed in at the Bethel in the Hills Pentecostal Church Campground in Cuddy Valley. They are said to be snowed in. We’ve been told they had food to last until Monday morning and are now seeking assistance in their efforts to leave the mountain area.

Authorities have discussed securing buses to help remove the campers from both areas. We will report as further, more specific, information is available.


This is part of the March 18, 2011 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

Have an opinion on this matter? We'd like to hear from you.