Saturday, September 30, 2023


Mystery gas sickens 17 campers at Forest Service campground

Fire units were dispatched to the Vallecito Campground in Colorado’s San Juan National Forest on Wednesday in response to a report of campers sickened by an exposure to an unknown gas.

The first units of the Upper Pine River Fire Protection District to arrive were met by the campground host, who identified seventeen people who reported being sickened in four campsites by a cloud of gas. Eight people required medical treatment after presenting with a variety of symptoms ranging from wheezing to nausea, throat and nose irritation.

Eye irritation which would be common in the discharge of a pepper spray or bear repellent was not reported among the campers. No one required transportation to a hospital.

Upper Pine River crews sampled the atmosphere with gas monitors in and around the campsites including the nearby campground facilities without discovering any hazardous substances. An army veteran on site with experience with chemical agents reported a possible CS gas, riot or smoke agent being discharged.

The chemical bathrooms were also investigated as a possible source of sulfur or methane gas discharge. The incident remains under investigation by a LaPlata County Sheriff’s officer.


RV Travel
RV Travel
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