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Incident Name:  400 acre Santa Rosa fire (according to a news article) south of Lake Elsinor, CA; it's near the border of the  Cleveland National Forest, which has since changed.
Date: 8/18/1952, 1300 hours
Personnel: Lawrence "Larry" Higgins
Age: 21
Agency/Organization: CDF now CAL FIRE
Position: firefighter

Summary: On August 19, 1952 Larry Higgins, a California Department of Forestry first year firefighter was fighting a fire near the Cleveland National Forest south of Lake Elsinor. He had been laying hose through the brush along the fireline. Carrying the nozzle end of the hose, he advanced toward the fire, calling for more hose. A whirlwind sprang up and whipped the fire around him, cutting him off from two other firefighters who were helping lay the hose. He was engulfed by flames and perished. They survived.

 

Larry Higgins Larry Higgins

 

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Maps

Best estimate so far: between Tenaja and San Mateo Canyons six miles west of Murrietta and six miles south of Lake Elsinore near Corwin Ranch. Research continues.

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Reports, Documentation, Lessons Learned

  • Larry Higgins named as fallen
Larry Higgins named as fallen Larry Higgins named as fallen
  • Historical Wildland Firefighter Fatalities 1910 - 1996 (pdf): NWCG record of a CDF firefighter who died as a result of entrapment in 1952, page 17; the fire that took Larry's life was the "Santa Rosa Fire" according to the newspaper while this one in the records is the Morrell Fire. More research is necessary:
    • Year: 1952
    • Fire Name/Location: Morrell Fire, Riverside Ranger Unit , CA
    • Fatalities: 1
    • Agency: CDF
    • Fire behavion: Unknown
    • Remarks: Died of burns
  • California Death Index: Lawrence Higgins
    • Name: Lawrence Higgins
    • Event Type: Death
    • Event Date: 18 Aug 1952
    • Event Place: Riverside, California, United States
    • Birth Date: 01 Jun 1931
    • Birthplace: California
    • Gender: Male
    • Father's Name: Higgins
    • Mother's Name: Walter

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Wildlandfire.com Links:

 

 

 

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Media Articles and Reports

 

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Photos, Videos, & Tributes

 

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Contributors to this article:  Reddgroom, Larry's little sister (grown up now, but 3.5 yr old when he  died); Mellie

 

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