Military Responses to Disasters
Southern California Fires, 1956
A home destroyed in the 1956 Malibu Fire (KCET)
National Guard Response
The U. S. Forest Service in Arcadia, on 7 September 1956, requested 10 volunteers with five 2½-ton trucks to transport fire fighters to the foothill area of La Canada, Sunland, Tujunga and the mission was accomplished on 10 September 1956. The Forest Service again contacted the Arcadia unit on 23 September 1956 to transport men and equipment into the San Bernardino National Forest for the McKinley fire, which involved over 10,500 acres of national forest. By 27 September 1956, another 10 men with five 2½-ton trucks had accomplished the mission. During this dangerous fire period, the volunteers from the California Army National Guard had driven over 6,364 miles through mountainous terrain.

A forest fire west of Los Angeles whipped by high winds and extremely low humidity and comparatively high temperatures on 26 December 1956 burned an area in the vicinity of Malibu Beach and approximately 30 homes were destroyed. Again the Guard assisted the civilian authorities and remained until the fire was under control on 31 December 1956.

Source: 1956-1958 Biennial Report of the Adjutant General of the State of California


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Posted 6 December 2017