Incident Name: Walton Spur Fire
Date: accident date 9/24/49; died on 9/25/49
Personnel: Archie S Selby, sawmill worker
Agency/Organization: US Forest Service
Position: firefighter, sawyer
Lightning started three fires on the Stanislaus National Forest that merged into one that became the worst fire since 1934. Strong 25 mph winds whipped it across 8000 acres and 7.5 miles in three days. Arch Selby was trapped by a flareback in the Tuolumne River Canyon. Men lowered ropes more than 80 feet from the cliff above, hauled him out and flew him by helicopter to the Big Oak Flat Rd. He was rushed by ambulance to Sonora where he died about 10 o'clock the next morning.
Fighting the Walton Spur Fire centered in the Tuolumne and Clavey River Canyons on both sides of Jawbone Ridge. Arch Selby, a sawyer, and a crew were fighting the fire on its western side near the mouth of the Clavey River, cutting a line in the steep canyon wall when the canyon winds changed direction, burning him.
The marker for Selby and Meyer is 10 mi east of Groveland, beside old Hwy 120 just east of Buck Meadows; fatality locations within 2 mi of marker.
Memorial to Arch Selby & Harry Meyer, just east of Buck Meadows
- USFS Memorial: Archie S Selby
- Memorial Plaque Tribute on the Stanislaus. If you have a picture with a lat/lon where you took it, please send it in.
Harry T. Meyer 1913-1940
Archie S Selby 1906-1949
This plaque erected in memory
of the above two residents of
the Groveland District who lost
their lives on the Walton Spur
Forest Fire on August 24, 1949
two miles from this memorial.
Contributors to this article: Mellie
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