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Local Staff Ride Archive

Stand 5 - Pacoima Dam Road

Rescue operations began immediately after the burnover. These efforts included having the helicopter hover over very rugged terrain while the fire was still active in order to pickup the survivors in the upper end of the chimney canyon.

That evening the Del Rosa and Dalton Hotshot Crews went on to complete the handline down to the bottom of Pacoima Canyon using the ridge and indirect line location that was identified as the alternate strategy by Line Boss Masterson. The fire was contained that night at approximately 2000 acres.

A Washington Office investigation and safety review was ordered following this accident. Several recommendations from the investigation and safety review caused significant changes in wildland firefighting equipment and procedures.

Pacoima Dam Road offers a good perspective of the entire working area around the fatality site, making it a good location to conduct the integration phase of the staff ride by having participants share their observations at the end of the day.

Click to read Paul Gleason's 30 year commemoration remarks.

Click to read the Report of the Fire Safety Review Team from 1967.

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 at the chimney canyon and fatality site from Pacoima Dam Road. Highest point visible on the ridge is Stand 3.

Fire behavior and air tanker working just above Pacoima Canyon prior to the entrapment of the El Cariso Hotshot Crew.

Loop Fire under the influence of the Santa Ana wind.

Investigation team on site.

Looking down the chimney canyon. Several of the investigation team members are barely visible on down the ridge. This photo was taken by Bud Moore, one of the team members, during the on-site investigation.

Looking across the deep gully from the location where the Los Angeles County dozer and crews were stopped. Note the individual standing in the bottom of the gully, a short distance farther up from that point in the gulley is where the spot fire crossed and began its upslope run. This photo was taken during the winter following the fire.