When it comes to vegetation fires in The Golden State, few months keep responders as busy as November - and few locations offer as much challenge and heartache as the often volatile and rugged Santa Monica Mountains that originate in and bisect the City of Los Angeles before commencing a 46 mile westward journey through the Counties of Los Angeles and Ventura.
It is both the suburban proximity and diversity of this scenic coastal range that makes it a national treasure and a vengeful adversary to firefighters.
It was seventeen years ago today, on November 2, 1993 that a small blaze in the Santa Monica Mountains fanned by 40 mile-per-hour winds, would become a nine-day conflagration that killed three civilians, overran or entrapped 74 firefighters and led to 565 firefighter injuries.
Known as the "Old Topanga Incident" this massive and relentless brush fire continues to serve as a global example of Fire Service teamwork and commitment. The official report from our friends at the County of Los Angeles Fire Department remains a worthy read:
Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department