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Local Staff Ride Archive

Stand 2 - CCC Crew Parking Area

Approximately 14:00 hours the CCC crew arrived at Rock Creek. They drove to the end of the two-track road leading into the creek. At this point the Crew Foreman, Wilbur Timmons, divided the twenty-three person crew into two squads. He would take his squad and approach the fire along the ridge to the north of the fire. He placed Earnest Tippin in charge of the second squad. Tippin's group was directed to approach from the west to the bottom of the fire. Foreman Timmons believed the bottom of the fire would be safer for the less experienced squad boss Tippin. Timmons had briefed Tippin in the truck as they drove into the fire. Timmons gave a direct order to "keep the men in safety". The squads rapidly assembled and departed the truck heading to the fire. Tippin's route took him a short distance up Rock Canyon then south, crossing over a saddle, and following the McConnell Trail. The McConnell Trail followed a dry drainage west toward the fire. Timmons continued up Rock Creek mile then started hiking a ridgeline heading to the north of the fire. Almost 300 yards due east of Stand 2, on the south facing slope above Rock Creek is the Vitale fatality site. This is a good time to point this out, however, Stand 4 will provide the greatest vantage point for discussion regarding Vitale's escape route.

Click to see Orthophoto with final fire perimeter and NAD 83 GPS locations for stands shown

The two squads hiked together up Rock Creek to the point were Tippin's crew turned to the south and crossed over the saddle you can see on the right side of the photo.

Looking back down the two-track road from the crew parking area toward the Gabica Ranch.