El Cariso Hot Shots 1966

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El Cariso Hot Shots 1961-62

Doug Campbell

The following information was provided by Doug Campbell, August 2009:

The El Cariso Hotshot Camp area burned over on the Decker fire of 1959.
The Forest FMO wanted me to take the job for the 1960 season.
I could not because of some personal concerns but I did agree to
take the job in 1961.  The place they wanted to place the crew
consisted of a garage for equipment and a long slab where a
building had been, and a gas tank and pump and a pit-toliet. 

Not much to work with.

I was asked what organization I would like so I told the district
FMO and Forest FMO that I wanted one assistant superintendent and

two crew bosses and 30 crew members that I would make two squads from.
I got the overhead and began building the camp.

We went to a military base and picked up a bunch of prefab desert huts
with our stake side truck and built one long barrack.  The
crew bosses scrounged bunk beds, mattresses and blankets too.
I hired two cooks and closed off 2 bays of the garage and made
a kitchen.  We did our own hiring paperwork and payrolls.


Barrack in 1966


During all this work we talked of a mascot we could devise. I wanted a daffy duck character that was beat up from fires; a splint on his neck, blister on his heal, and a bolt of lighting hitting him in the tail feathers.  The overhead liked the idea and my wife Pat drew the logo, titled the ruptured duck.  Mike Alaga was making copies of the Ruptured Duck on hardhats, the basket ball backboard and such.                            

We also had to make crew carriers of our two stake side trucks. Once we got plywood and built tool boxes, on the other one, we ran out of time and just wrapped tools in blankets and stowed them under the rack of wood seats we bolted in the bed.  Gordon King was a big help during this formative period.
The C-46 was stationed at Ontario airport for us and Del Rosa hotshots.  The C-46 was
nicknamed the ruptured duck by the military.  We would load up and make a run to the airport and board the old airplane for many fire orders those two years.




El Cariso Hot Shots about 1961-62


El Cariso Hot Shots - Early 1960s


Doug Campbell's Crew 2 (1962)


Gordon King's Crew 1 (1962)