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Local Staff Ride Archive

Stand 1 - El Cariso Regional Park

El Cariso Regional Park was established by the County of Los Angeles in honor of the hotshot crewmembers who were entrapped on the 1966 Loop Fire. This is a good location to begin a Staff Ride as it is easy to find, has good parking capacity, and provides an excellent perspective of the site from the monument.

The Loop Fire started at 05:19 on November 1, 1966 from a faulty electrical line at the U.S. Army's Los Pinetos Nike Missile Site. This facility is approximately 1 mile north of Contractors Point. The fire burned downhill in a southwesterly direction under the influence of 40 to 60 mile per hour Santa Ana winds. Contractors Point was a key anchor point on this east flank of the fire, which was designated as Division A. Suppression efforts in Division A on the morning of November 1st were focused on protecting the missile facility and establishing a control line south from that facility toward Contractors Point.

Click to see travel map.

Click to see fire perimeter map.

Click to hear excerpts from Bear Divide Foreman Cliff Johnson's interview.
(Requires a media player capable of playing MP3 audio. Click here to download the free Windows Media Player.)

The entrance to the park is well marked. It will be a right turn if traveling north on Hubbard Street. The actual monument is all the way to the back of the parking area.

When viewing the San Gabriel Mountains from the park, one gains an appreciation for the extreme terrain over which the Loop Fire burned.

Contractors Point is the high point of the ridge just behind the tree on the left. The south point of the ridge is clearly visible in the center.

El Cariso Hotshots
Photo of Crew 1 taken in October 1966

El Cariso Hotshots
Photo of Crew 2 taken in October 1966.