By Mark Mutti on November 1st '22, 7:10am PT
Today marks the 56th anniversary of The Loop Fire in the Angeles National Forest, where 12 young men would lose their lives. This tragedy would go on to reshape fire policy nation-wide.
When we were making our "Fire Year" doc., I don't think I had heard of the Loop Fire. Or if I had, I certainly didn’t understand its significance. During an interview with the forest's Fire Chief Robert Garcia
in February ‘21, he brought it up and it was clearly very important.
And it became important to me too. I had biked through El Cariso Park so many times as a kid growing up in San Fernando (City), never realizing it was a standing tribute to the fallen and survivors. If I recall correctly, the memorial was in really bad shape, barely there. Since, volunteers have restored it into this beautiful memorial, complimenting its sibling in the Cleveland National Forest incredibly well.
Here’s a clip from Fire Year showing both memorials. You can watch the whole episode for free and ad-free on YouTube
The trip to Cleveland N.F. was one of a handful of times the history of Angeles N.F. sent me on an adventure to another forest. In fact, when I got back to Burbank and reviewed, I realized what I captured wasn’t “it” and ended up going back to re-shoot.
If you haven’t visited the California Wildland Firefighters Memorial Picnic Area, by the way, it is definitely worth your time: More Info →