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Local Staff Ride Archive

Stand 3 - South Point of Ridge

This is shown as Point A in the investigation report photo referred to as Figure 3. El Cariso Superintendent King led his crew to a small bench below this south point of the ridge and held them there until he could determine if it was possible to cold-trail the fire edge all the way down. King could see the Los Angeles County dozers and crews working the lower edge of the fire and believed he could tie in with them. At about 14:45 Line Boss Masterson requested Division Boss Westmoreland to go down the east flank and make sure the crews were lined out. Westmoreland had a radio and several of the crews did not have radios, including the El Cariso Hotshots. By the time Westmoreland reached the tail end of the El Cariso crew, King had led the first units of his crew well down into the steep rocky chimney staying directly on the fire edge. As a result, King never had a radio exchange or face-to-face meeting with Westmoreland, who was his Division Boss.

Click to see southeast flank orthophoto with fire edge shown.

Click to hear excerpts from El Cariso Supintendent Gordon King's interview.
(Requires a media player capable of playing MP3 audio. Click here to download the free Windows Media Player.)

Looking back from Stand 3 along the ridge toward Contractors Point. This was the 40 chains of open fire edge that was assigned to the Dalton and Del Rosa crews.

The direct attack route that the El Cariso crew followed down.

The alternate indirect route mentioned by Line Boss Masterson. This ended up being the location of the final control line on this flank.

Rocks arranged in an "M" or a "W" pattern about six feet across can be found location about 100 yards below Stand 3. This is about where the El Cariso crew would have left the ridge and entered into the chimney as they cold-trailed along the fire edge. Division Boss Westmoreland probably caught up with the tail end of the crew in about this location.

Pacoima Reservoir as seen from the vicinity of Stand 3.