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Incident Name: Spanish Ranch Fire, east of Nipomo, CA
Date:   08/15/79, 3 died immediately, Scott Cox died on 2/3/80
 4 Lives Lost
Agency/Organization:  California Department of Forestry (now CAL FIRE), US Forest Service, Santa Barbara Fire Department
Position: firefighters


Edwin M Marty, 35, Fire Captain, from Nipomo
Scott W Cox, 25, firefighter, from Golita, died Feb 3, 1980 from injuries
Ronald T Lorant, 23, Firefighter, from Long Beach
Steven R Manley, 21, Firefighter, from Golita

The 4 members of CDF Engine 5373 responded from Nipomo Station and arrived on the Spanish Ranch fire just prior to 1600 hrs. Engine 5373 was assigned to provide support for firing out. Around 1615 hrs the fire begins to pick up, and at 1625 hrs extreme fire behavior is observed and area ignition ocurrred. Ground crews were quickly entrapped; the lookout was able to escape, 2 Dozer operaters were trapped and survived (one with minor burns). Ed Marty, Ron Lorant and Steve Manley died in the fire, Scott Cox survived but died 202 days later; they did not have fire shelters.

From the CDF Case Study (link below):

Captain Ed Marty Captain Ed Marty
Scott Cox Scott Cox
Ron Lorant Ron Lorant
Steve Manley Steve Manley

Memorial and close up of Plaques

Spanish Ranch Memorial Spanish Ranch Memorial
Spanish Ranch Memorial Spanish Ranch Memorial

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Engine 5373 Engine 5373


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Contributors to this article: Mellie

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