Lake Elsinore, CA Two Die Fighting Forest Fire, Aug 1959


Riverside, Cal. (AP) - Two firemen died today of burns suffered when they and 26 others tried to make a stand against a rushing wall of flames near Lake Elsinore.
Two were burned critically and the other 24 less seriously.
The 28 were trapped Saturday as flames raced through tall, thick brush on the slopes above the Elsinore resort area.
RUSTY BROOKS, 24, U.S. Forest Service foreman, and BEN SLATER, 31, a district manager from the Cleveland National Forest, died at Corona Hospital.
"Three different parties of men got trapped when they tried to make a stand along the Ortega Road," a fire official explained. "The wind whipped up several turbulence of flames and swept right across the men."
"There was no place to run to. They stayed and got burned."
From the standpoint of injuries, the fire was the worst in recent years in California. It has destroyed two homes and has covered more than 1,500 acres of brush-covered slopes.
Firefighters hope to contain it today.

Times Record Troy New York 1959-08-10