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Stand 2 - Contractors Point

By mid-day the north flank of the fire had been contained along the Santa Clara Fuelbreak up to Contractors Point. With the exception of a few minor slop-overs, the east flank of the fire was holding along the ridge to a point 40 chains south of Contractors Point (Stand 3). The Chilao Hotshot Crew, two Los Angeles County crews, and several tankers (engines) were working a large slop-over near Contractors Point. At 12:00 the Dalton Hotshot Crew on-scene at Contractors Point and were assigned by Division Boss William Westmoreland to build direct handline south from the Chilao crew along this east flank of the fire. At about 13:00 the Del Rosa Hotshot Crew arrived and Westmoreland directed them to work down the ridge ahead of the Dalton Crew. At 14:30 the El Cariso Hotshot Crew arrived on-scene. Line Boss Hugh Masterson briefed El Cariso Superintendent Gordon King. Masterson's instructions were to "leap-frog the Del Rosa crew and to cold-trail the fire edge if possible." He also mentioned that "the main ridge could be used as an alternate if impossible to follow the burned edge."

Click to see southeast flank topo map with NAD 27 GPS locations for stands shown.

Click to hear excerpts from Dalton Superintendent Chuck Hartley's interview.
(Requires a media player capable of playing MP3 audio. Click here to download the free Windows Media Player.)

View looking toward the south point of the ridge from Contractors Point. Notice the break in the chamise brush field. This indicates the location of the fireline as it progressed south from Contractors Point during the late morning and early afternoon. The fireline was mostly built by dozers between the missile facility and Contractors Point. From Contractors Point south, handline was required.

Loop Canyon is the major drainage looking down and to the west from Contractors Point. This is the drainage where the fire made its initial downhill run.

Typical Angeles National Forest front country brush and terrain looking east from Contractors Point.