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Incident Name:  Bear Springs Fire
Date:  8/25/34
Personnel:  John S. Everitt
Age:  50
Agency/Organization:  US Forest Service
Position:  Forest Supervisor Shasta National Forest

Summary:


"California Ranger"
Region 5
[Forest Service Shield]
Not for publication
Vol. 5, No 40
San Francisco Calif., Aug. 31, 1934

JOHN S. EVERITT

 

Details of the tragic death of Supervisor John S. Everitt were obtained by Assistant Regional Forester J. H. Price, who went by air from San Francisco to the Shasta on Sunday, August 26, immediately following the receipt of the news.

According to a report by Frank Myers, assistant supervisor of the Shasta, Everitt was last seen by Forest Guard Gordon Nixon about 5 o'clock on the evening of the 25th near the fire camp established by Ranger Leslie T. Solaro on the south side of the Bear Springs fire. He was evidently then leaving unaccompanied to scout the country south of the fire line. Soon after this a shift of wind endangered the south side of the fire and Solaro moved his camp about 6:30. At 8:30, Fred Johnson asked Myers to try to locate Everitt and Myers returned to the fire but was unable to proceed with the search until daylight.

From tracks discovered by Myers the next morning, Everitt had gone down a dry ravine South of the camp and crossed a ridge. Here he was perhaps first aware that a sudden change in the wind was throwing the fire all around him. From the ridge he went down into another gulch still further south, here the tracks indicate a desperate attempt to escape the surrounding flames as they led first up and then down the gulch where he was evidently trying for a chance to get back into burned-over ground. Driven out by heat and flames, he finally climbed the far slope where he sought to protect himself by digging a shallow hole with his hands. Here his body was found by Myers early on the morning of the 26th.

This first fire fatality among the permanent force in this Region takes from our ranks one of the new generation of administrators who won his promotions by the effective work in many parts of this Region. His loss as a forest supervisor will be keenly felt and his quiet, pleasant personality will be missed by his fellow officers in all parts of California.

Supervisor Everitt was born in Franklindale, Pa., 1884, and was a graduate of Cornell University and the Cornell School of Forestry. He entered the U. S. Forest Service as forest assistant on the Shasta Forest in 1920 and later worked on the Plumas and Stanislaus Forests. In 1929 he was promoted to assistant forest supervisor, Lassen Forest, and in 1931 assumed a like position on the San Bernardino in southern California. In 1932 he was made assistant in the Office of Fire Control of the California Regional headquarters of the Forest Service at San Francisco, and on April 16 of this year was promoted to supervisor of the Shasta National Forest.

He is survived by a widow, Mabel H. Everitt.

 

John Everitt, Shasta NF Supervisor, 1934 John Everitt, Shasta NF Supervisor, 1934
John Everitt, Vista Point Sign John Everitt, Vista Point Sign
John Everitt Vista John Everitt Vista
John Everitt Plaque John Everitt Plaque

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Maps

Everitt Memorial Highway that ends high up on the Southern side of Mt Shasta

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Reports, Documentation, Lessons Learned

  • Letter about Forest Supervisor John Everitt's death, 1934, published in the Region 5, "Calafornia Ranger" Intraoffice Communication, Vol. V, No 40. (2.6 MB pdf) (Text retyped above.)
  • USFS Heroes Memorial: John Everitt, 1934
  • Letter from Forest Supervisor to John Everitt's brother, 1934, sharing condolences, details of John's passing and plans for his monument.
FS letter to John Everitt's brother, 1 FS letter to John Everitt's brother, 1
FS letter to John Everitt's brother, 2 FS letter to John Everitt's brother, 2

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Photos, Videos, & Tributes

John Everitt's Tombstone, 1934 John Everitt's Tombstone, 1934

 

Mt Shasta CA: The Everitt Memorial Highway that climbs high up on Mt. Shasta is named for Shasta Forest Supervisor Everitt who lost his life on a fire on the south side of the mountain in 1934. Its location is marked on the map above.

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Contributors to this article: Tom Everitt, John's nephew

 

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