El Cariso Hot Shots 1966

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Events - October 31 - November 1, 2016

El Cariso Hot Shots 50-Year "Loop Fire" Commemorative Service

Fifty years ago, on November 1, 1966, twelve members of the El Cariso Hotshots lost their lives while fighting the “Loop Fire” on the Angeles National Forest.

To again honor those who lost their lives and for those who survived, the Angeles and Cleveland National Forests will remember this tragedy with a 50 year “Loop Fire” Commemorative Service.

 You are invited to attend the

 El Cariso Hotshots 50 year “Loop Fire” Commemorative Service

 November 1, 2016 at  11:00 a.m.

El Cariso Regional Park

13100 Hubbard Street

Sylmar, California 91342

First Day:

Monday, October 31st will be a (Loop Fire)  Staff Ride. Bob Garcia has confirmed that the NWCG (National Wildfire Coordinating Group) Fire Leadership Group out of Boise, Idaho have committed to participating in the staff ride and filming our comments. We have the opportunity to explain our actions at each stand at the Loop Fire Site. We are trying to arrange a helicopter to transport us to stand 3 which is located at the last location before we dropped off into the chute. All the 1966 El Cariso Hot Shots are welcome to attend even if you were not on the Loop Fire. I hope all will attend. 

This group will also film the entire Commemorative Service conducted at El Cariso Regional Park on Tuesday, November 1st.

The staff ride will start at 09:00 Monday morning. A bus has been arranged to take all on the staff ride and return you to the motel in the late afternoon. Staff ride is for Hotshots only. Lunch will be provided. Hopefully everyone can get together at the end of the day and go out for dinner.

Good news you guys. A block of motels rooms have been reserved a few miles up the road off the Interstate 5 freeway. Be advised that all the rooms reserved for the El Cariso Hotshots will be paid courtesy of the Angeles  & Cleveland National Forests. What a great gift given to us.

After Bob Garcia gives me the name of the motel, address and phone number I will contact each one of you. At that time you can call the motel and register for your room.  All wives are welcome. Hopefully the wives will get together and plan out their day and socialize.

For those of you who will be flying in need to fly in on Sunday, October 30th to be there in time for the 09:00 staff ride on Monday, October 31st.

It was discussed by the committee if you can to fly Southwest Airlines and fly into Burbank Airport. Burbank airport is the nearest airport to the motel. Arrangements have been made for transportation to pick you up and get you to the motel.

IMPORTANT: Please contact me with your arrival time so I can give it to Bob Garcia for him to arrange for your pick-up.

If you cannot get a flight from Southwest Airlines please let me know so we can make arrangements to pick you up and get you to the motel. 

I will also try to get you a telephone number to call the Angeles Forest.

Second Day:

Tuesday, November 1st, will be the 50-Year Loop Fire Commemorative Service at the El Cariso Regional Park at 11:00 a.m. A bus has been arranged to pick you up at the motel and return you to the motel. After the Commemorative Service concludes, sandwiches will be provided. After lunch approximately between 2:30 & 3:00 p.m. the bus will transport everyone up to the burn site. When concluded the bus will transport everyone back to the motel.

For those of you had airlines flights, transportation will be arranged to get you to the airport on Wednesday, November 2nd. 
Please give me the departure times so arrangements can be made.

I hope everyone will be able to attend.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Rich Leak


Dedication of the California
Wildland Firefighters Memorial on October 8, 2011


Photo October 22, 2010 - Courtesy of David Westley

The dedication of the California Wildland Firefighers Memorial was held Saturday, October 8, 2011, 10 a.m. at the memorial site located at Highway 74 (Ortega Highway) and South Main Divide Road, Lake Elsinore, California. This is only a short distance from the old El Cariso Hot Shot Camp.

For more information about the California Wildland Firefighters Memorial,
visit their website at  http://www.cwfm.info.
Be sure to click on the "Photo Gallery" in the Main Menu to see photographs from the October 8, 2011 dedication.

California Wildland Firefighters Memorial Flier

Google Map

CWFM Program 1

CWFM Program 2



Donations to the CWFM
Presently the
California Wildland Firefighters Memorial site consists of a circular area containing a red brick Maltese cross in the center with a rock wall behind in a semi-circle. Fire plaques on the rock Wall give the fire name, county, year and number of fatalities for each fire. Engraved paver bricks with private dedications complete the Maltese Cross foreground.

All donations are welcome for the Memorial and will receive a commemorative pin. Any donations $100 or more are eligible for a brick inscription of their choice. Contact Stephanie Regis, Secretary, CWFM at 951-780-4671 if you wish to inquire about the current list of names for brick requests. For brick order forms and more information visit http://www.cwfm.info.

As of July 2012, the names of all the El Cariso Hot Shots lost from the Loop Fire, November 1, 1966, have been added to the engraved paver bricks.