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Painted Turtle Camp Survives the Powerhouse Wildfire

Posted: June 3, 2013 5:34 p.m.
Updated: June 3, 2013 5:34 p.m.

To paraphrase one of Paul Newman movie titles, someone up there likes us. The Painted Turtle Camp, one of Newman’s medical specialty camps for children with life-threatening and chronic illnesses, was threatened by the Powerhouse Wildfire over the past weekend. The powerful fire, which had been burning in the Angeles National Forest since May 30, changed direction on Saturday afternoon and dramatically increased in size and speed as it raced toward the Lake Hughes community in which the camp is located.

The Painted Turtle, which had 50 staff members on site for summer training, evacuated to a high school in Lancaster as the fire moved rapidly toward the camp and through the community. The terrain and brush all around The Painted Turtle campsite were burned by the fire but all the camp’s major buildings were left intact, with damage to some outlying buildings, 90 percent of the property’s vegetation, and significant smoke damage.

The Painted Turtle was scheduled to begin its summer camp season on June 14. Currently we are assessing the damage at camp in hope of welcoming children back as soon as possible.  During the summers the camp hosts 8 week-long camp sessions to which it welcomes 800 children with serious illnesses. Each session serves children with a different medical condition. Throughout the rest of the year the Painted Turtle hosts Family Weekend Programs at which it serves another 1500 children and their families. The Painted Turtle does not have any billing department as no one pays to attend the camp.

The Painted Turtle is extremely thankful to firefighters and neighbors who helped to protect the camp and preserve a place that brings great joy and hope to thousands of children.

For additional information or to make donations please visit our website at or contact our office at 310.451.1353. The Painted is part of the Serious Fun Children’s Network founded by Paul Newman. 

The Signal delivers press releases from reliable sources under the "This just in" header to provide up-to-the-minute information to our website readers. Information from "This just in" has not been vetted by The Signal news room. It may appear subsequently in news stories after it has been vetted.


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