The Backbone Fire, now at 38,321 acres with 1% containment, has continued to create potentially hazardous air quality at Camp Colley and state roads leading to camp from Greater Phoenix remain closed. Three additional fires started nearby earlier this week, including the Snake Fire which is burning slowly at 74 acres just 17 miles from camp north of Clints Well.
Monday officials with the Coconino National Forest declared a Stage 3 closure to the forest to the public and individuals there will need to vacate by Wednesday morning. Camp Colley, private property owned by the City of Phoenix, will remain accessible only to staff with permits issues by the National Forest. Because of this, Session 5 (June 28 – July 2, 2021) of our season will be cancelled.
We have continued to follow the AZ Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Transportation, and Coconino National Forest updates in order to make an informed decision about resuming Camp Colley for the remainder of our season as soon as possible. We will make all efforts to provide campers with alternative program arrangements in the event camp is cancelled through the summer.
We have notified parents and program partners about next week’s cancellation. All staff are safe off property, and we are working with them to create a mid-term plan for housing for those who are from out of town.
We will continue to share more information about these fires’ impact on Camp Colley as more information becomes available.