Tuesday, July 17 , 2018, 8:01 pm | Fair 69º

 
 
 
 

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Circle V Ranch Camp & Retreat Center Plans to Open in 2018

Facilities in the Santa Ynez Valley were damaged or destroyed by the Whittier Fire

Several buildings at the Circle V Ranch Camp & Retreat Center in the Santa Ynez Valley were damaged or destroyed by the Whittier Fire. Officials with St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles, which operates the camp, are making plans to rebuild and re-open the youth camp in 2018. Click to view larger
Several buildings at the Circle V Ranch Camp & Retreat Center in the Santa Ynez Valley were damaged or destroyed by the Whittier Fire. Officials with St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles, which operates the camp, are making plans to rebuild and re-open the youth camp in 2018. (Contributed photo)

Less than two months after the fast-moving Whittier Fire scorched the Circle V Ranch Camp & Retreat Center in the Santa Ynez Valley, officials are making plans to rebuild and re-open the youth camp in 2018.

The blaze that broke out July 8 charred buildings that were used to house arts-and-craft items and medical supplies, and severely damaged the camp’s water treatment facility in the Lake Cachuma area.

David Fields, executive director of St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles, which operates the camp, estimates the rebuilding effort could cost more than $200,000 and take several months.

Fields hopes to open the camp in May or June 2018.

“The sooner, the better,” Fields said. “The camp has impacted and positively touched a lot of lives. We want to continue that.”

The Whittier fire, which ignited around 2 p.m. July 8, had charred 18,430 acres as of Monday afternoon.

The St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles is collecting donations to help pay for the renovation project. Click here to contribute.

Children and staff members sheltered in place with U.S. Forest Service firefighters as the fire roared dangerously close on July 8. The group was evacuated and no injuries were reported.

The youth camp has been shut down after staff discovered the damage.

Summer camps and dozens of groups scheduled to use the Retreat Center have been canceled through the year.

“The Retreat Center is where different organizations utilize the available services — that is going to be canceled until probably next September,” Fields said.

Since 1945, the camp at 2550 Highway 154 has hosted summer camp sessions for boys and girls ages 7 to 13, and campers ages 14 to 17 in leadership training. 

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Several buildings at the Circle V Ranch Camp & Retreat Center in the Santa Ynez Valley were damaged or destroyed by the Whittier Fire. Officials with St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles, which operates the camp, are making plans to rebuild and re-open the youth camp in 2018. Click to view larger
Several buildings at the Circle V Ranch Camp & Retreat Center in the Santa Ynez Valley were damaged or destroyed by the Whittier Fire. Officials with St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles, which operates the camp, are making plans to rebuild and re-open the youth camp in 2018. (Contributed photo)

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