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Esperanza Fire


Accident Review Board Action Plan


CDF Green Sheet


Accident Investigation
Factual Report

Cover & Table of Contents
Executive Summary
Narrative
Maps
Photographs
Timeline
Investigation Process Summary
Human Findings
Causal Factors and Contributing Factors
Appendix 1 — Fire Behavior Analysis Summary
Appendix 2 — Fire Operations Analysis Summary
Appendix 3 — LCES Analysis Summary
Appendix 4 — Standards for Fire Operations Analysis Summary
Appendix 5 — Compliance Analysis Summary
Appendix 6 — Fire Weather Analysis Summary
Appendix 7 — Human Factors Analysis Checklist Summary
Appendix 8 — Personal Protective Equipment Analysis Summary
Appendix 9 — Equipment Engine 57 Analysis Summary
Appendix 10 — Video Documentation Listing
Appendix 11 — Glossary and Acronyms

US Forest Service logo

Esperanza Fire
Accident Investigation
Factual Report

Riverside County, California
October 26, 2006

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection logo

Esperanza Fire vicinity maps
Figure 1. Esperanza Fire Vicinity Maps

Executive Summary

The Esperanza Fire was reported on October 26, 2006 at 1:11 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) in Cabazon, California, within the jurisdiction of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE). At approximately 7:15 a.m., five wildland firefighters from Forest Service Fire Engine 57 were overrun by the fire, while they were positioned near an isolated, vacant residential structure. All five firefighters were fatally burned by a sudden, intense fire run up a steep drainage below their location.

The fatalities occurred in the rural mountain community of Twin Pines, which is located in the San Jacinto Mountains approximately four miles southwest of Cabazon. Twin Pines is an identified wildland urban intermix with a recognized “extreme threat” rating for potential destructive impacts from wildfires.

Engine 57 and four other Forest Service fire engines from the San Bernardino National Forest, San Jacinto Ranger District were dispatched to the Esperanza Fire based on an Interagency Cooperative Fire Protection Agreement. All five Forest Service Type III fire engines and a March Air Force Base fire engine were performing structure protection in close proximity to each other when the fatalities occurred.

At the time of the burnover, the fire was several hundred acres in size burning rapidly in dry/dense chaparral/Manzanita, at the head of a steep drainage, and under the influence of Santa Ana winds.


Exhibit 1. Fire looking south from Cabazon area at approximately 4:00 a.m. PDT


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