Five-page handwritten letter on unlined paper (6.25 x 10.5 inches), dated July 30, 1935. Folding creases, all else very good. Accompanied by original mailing envelope.
Robert Bassell writes to his parents from CCC Camp Fremont in Pinedale, Wyoming. Bassell describes how he was among the first to volunteer for duty when a forest fire broke out in the mountains above the camp. After hiking nine miles up a mountain on little food and little sleep, he found himself in serious peril, writing "I and another boy were patrolling on the fire line when the crown fire started on us. We had to run from the fire and then I found that I was trapped. Was I scared. Don’t ask. To our good fortune, two rangers, who were circling the fire, saw our plight and got us out. I had to run through a sheet of flame about four feet high. I got singed and burnt." In addition to his dramatic description of fighting the fire, Bassell makes brief mention of his other work activities, and of the Camp’s educational programming. Camp Fremont opened in 1933 and attracted young men from New York, California, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky and Wyoming. In addition to fighting fires, they worked on insect control and stream improvement and built telephone and electrical lines, drift fences, campgrounds, and ranger stations.