Boy Scout officials are still waiting to see how extensively the Monterey Bay Area Council's Camp Pico Blanco in Big Sur was damaged by the Basin Complex Fire.

State firefighters closed the road leading to the camp at Bottcher's Gap at the end of Palo Colorado Canyon, said Scouts executive Albert Gallegos.

Firefighters are extinguishing smoldering pockets of fire and clearing fallen trees.

"The area is still unsafe," he said.

Last week, the Scouts council reported that a Scouts inspection team was escorted through the camp property by fire service personnel for a firsthand look at the destruction.

"The sight was incredible," Gallegos said. "Just about every section of camp landscape has been burned by the fire."

Damaged trees have fallen throughout camp, he said and — along with loose rock — are falling on roads and hiking trails.

"There are still a number of sections of camp that are actively burning or smoldering," Gallegos said.

The camp ranger's home with its generator and water tanks was destroyed, two outhouses were burned to the ground, and a tree has fallen across the rifle range, making it unusable.

The rest of the camp's buildings appear to be safe, he said, most notably the Hayward Lodge Dining Hall and the Crosby Kitchen. Other structures, such as the new Haynes Charitable Foundation Water Treatment System and the water storage tanks, are intact. All of the above-ground water lines are destroyed and will need to be replaced.

The 800-acre camp is the oldest Boy Scout camp on the Central Coast. Until the fire, it provided year-round camping opportunities for Scout troops and other organizations since 1954.

The Basin Complex Fire started June 21 after a lightning strike and quickly spread to surrounding areas.

On June 25, Scout leaders decided to move campers at Pico Blanco to other locations, including the Boulder Creek Scout Reservation in the Santa Cruz mountains.

Firefighting crews' efforts saved most of the camp, Gallegos said, but Camp Pico Blanco is officially closed until further notice.

He said it will likely take months of work to make the camp safe to use, and damage repair and recovery costs are expected to exceed $500,000.

Insurance will cover some of the cost, Gallegos said. The Scouts council executive board met in emergency session July 17 to begin work on the recovery process.

Recovery committees have been formed to provide guidance for the necessary repair work in areas such as erosion control, forestry management, trail rehabilitation, road reconstruction and water system management.