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Incident Name:  Williams Hill Fire on the Los Padres National Forest
Date:  07/28/1945
Personnel: 2 lives lost
Age:
Agency/Organization: CDF (now CAL FIRE) and US Forest  Service
Position: firefighters

Summary:

Paul Joseph Nesgis, 41, Assistant State Forest Ranger CDF (would now be called Battalion Chief)
Edward Everett Gates, 54, US Forest Service dozer operator

On July 28, 1945, Paul Nesgis and Edward Gates were fighting a fire in a canyon below Williams Hill when they were trapped in a box canyon and over-run by fire. They died fighting the Williams Hill Fire on the Los Padres National Forest.

Calandra Lookout Memorial Calandra Lookout Memorial

 

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Maps

a box canyon below Williams Hill; lookout monument location

"They died in a fire within sight of this station."

 

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Reports, Documentation, Lessons Learned

  • From the LLC database: consistent with LODD of Edward Gates, heavy equipment operator
    • Date: 1/1/1943
    • Location: Los Padres NF
    • State: California
    • Incident: William Hills
    • Accident: Heavy Equipment Burnover
    • Category: Fire
    • Organization: Federal
    • Agency: USFS
    • Number of People: 1
    • Shelters Available: Not Applicable
    • Shelters Deployed: Not Applicable
    • Fatalities: 1
    • Injuries: Not Applicable
  • The Calandra lookout plaque is also a record.
  • California Death Index: Paul Joseph Nesgis

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Wildlandfire.com Links:

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Media Articles and Reports

 

 

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Photos, Videos, & Tributes

  • The Calandra Lookout is on BLM property, accessed from the Lockwood/San Ardo Road, between US 101 and Bradley/Lockwood Road. Monterey County CA, near King City.
  • There is a Flag case in the Monterey Ranger District Office for Dozer operator Edward Gates.
  • US Forest Service Heroes Memorial: Edward Gates
  • Paul Nesgis and Edward Gates names are inscribed on the California Firefighters' Wall in Sacramento, CA; California Memorial LODDs by Wall Order. (84 K pdf) --see page 8

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Contributors to this article: George Haines, Division Chief, BEU, CDF; Mike Preasmeyer, Division Chief, USFS; John Miller, Rene Vanderhooft, RJM

 

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