Twitter Buttons

Friday, October 26, 2012

Never Forget: Esperanza Fire LODDs six years later

6 years today since the deadly Esperanza Fire in Riverside County tragically took the lives of 5 firefighters.

Capt. Mark Loutzenhiser, Fire Engine Operator Jess "Gus" McLean, Assistant Fire Engine Operator Jason McKay and Firefighter Daniel Hoover/Najera, perished in the blaze defending a partially built home in the early morning hours of Oct. 26, 2006 in Cabazon, Calif. Firefighter Pablo Cerda succumbed to his injuries five days later at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center.
 The Esperanza Fire was a wind-driven, arson-caused wildfire that was started in a river wash near Cabazon, California, west of Palm Springs, California. By Sunday, October 29, 2006, it had burned over 61 square miles (160 km²) and was 85% contained. On Monday, October 30, 2006, at 6:00 PM PST, the fire was declared fully contained.

Five firefighters were killed defending a vacant house locally known as the "Octagon" that was ultimately destroyed by the fire: Jason McKay, Jess McLean, Daniel Najera, Mark Loutzenhiser, and Pablo Cerda.

In June 2009, Raymond Lee Oyler was sentenced to death for starting the fire.

Santa Ana winds carried smoke as far away as San Diego, and a CAL FIRE report states that the winds ultimately led to the deaths of the firefighters. 

With Santa Ana winds again blowing in Southern California, take time to pay tribute by helping us prevent another tragic fire.

Video: Photo1productions

Esperanza Fire The Esperanza Fire in Riverside County October 26th 2006

Full Esperanza Accident Report

U.S. Forest Service Accident Review Board Action Plan
 (22K PDF)

Esperanza Accident ReportSize
(3.8M PDF)
(209K PDF)
(28K PDF)
(42K PDF)
(2.1M PDF)
(671K PDF)
(32K PDF)
(30K PDF)
(25K PDF)
(17K PDF)
(225K PDF)
(33K PDF)
(30K PDF)
(30K PDF)
(19K PDF)
(224K PDF)
(62K PDF)
(16K PDF)
(179K PDF)
(14K PDF)
(16K PDF)

Twitter links

****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
View blog top tags