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Incident Name:  Timber Canyon Fire
Date: Burned in a fire in 1908, died in 1909; exact dates are unknown
Personnel: Alfredo de la Riva
Age: 53
Agency/Organization: US Forest Service
Position: Forest Servoce Ranger, firefighter

Summary: Alfredo de la Riva, USFS, died of burns in 1909 suffered the year before while trying to save a indigent miner named Kiefer from a raging wildfire in Timber Canyon, Santa Paula, CA. His name has been added to the CA state Fallen FF memorial.  

(From Mary Blair who says, "My original information comes from old timers and the documentation they have.)

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Maps

Very General Incident Location: Timber Canyon Road, Santa Paula, CA

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Reports, Documentation, Lessons Learned

  • Page 86 of pdf History of Hispanics in the FS/DOA establishes that de la Riva worked for the Santa Barbara Forest Reserve and then was transferred to the Forest Service when it was established in 1905.

"Several of Reyes' relatives were among the other pioneering Hispanics hired as rangers by the Forest Service. J.D.'s brother, Geraldo, was appointed in July 1902, and a cousin, Alfredo Ortega, also began in the early 1900s. According to the U.S. Department of the Interior's General Land Classification Book's List No. 31 (January 1905), which identified employees transferred to the U.S. Department of Agriculture along with the Forest Service, the agency appointed three other Hispanics to posts between 1900 and 1905. Each of these -- Hermogenes Ortega, Isidro Soto, and Alfredo de la Riva -- served on the Santa Barbara Forest Reserve where J.D. Reyes was stationed."

  • Memorial Page for Forest Service Fallen: Alfredo de la Riva - Los Padres National Forest
  • Voter Registration Information, Ventura, CA: Alfredo Gonzales de la Riva age 43, who appears to have been born in 1853 in California; If this is the correct person, he died at age 56, 13 years later. His daughter Gavina married Nov 1, 1909.

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Wildlandfire.com Links:

 

 

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Media Articles and Reports

  • History of the USDA Forest Service: Brief Timeline -- The Forest Reserve Act of 1891 allowed the President to establish forest reserves from timber-covered public domain land; they were managed by the Department of Interior. In 1901 the Department of Agriculture's Division of Forestry was renamed Bureau of Forestry. In 1905 the Transfer Act transferred the management of forest reserves from the DOI to to the USDA Forest Service which was established within the USDA. The reserves had been renamed national forests and by 1907 many were being expanded by Teddy Roosevelt's proclamations.
  • December 22, 1903 Presidential Proclamation: Theodore Rosevelt establishes the Santa Barbara Forest Reserve (pdf) established in place of Pine Mountain and Zaca Lake and Santa Ynez forest Reserves.
  • List of links to proclamations in which Roosevelt set aside other Forest Reserves. Following that in 1907 many national forests were enlarged by proclamations of Teddy Roosevelt.

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Photos, Videos, & Tributes

 

 

 

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Contributors to this article: Mary Blair

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