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59 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Tom Way said,

    I worked last half of 1971 fire season at Oak Grove with Chet Cash and Skip Pike. Larry Boggs hired me and I ended up on the Shasta Trinity first part of 71 season. Worked at Chilao and Tanbark Nightflyer(baldy Dist.) also. Retired as a fire capt./paramedic 2009 in San Luis Obispo Co.
    Good Luck.

  2. 3

    Robert Hewitt said,

    I was hired by Steve Arney in 1976 and was part of the crew that season. Looking forward to the reunion!

  3. 5

    Don DeYoung said,

    I was on the Oak Grove Hotshots in 1971, Barley Flats Helitack 72′ & 73′, Redding Jumpers 74′ and Chantry Flats Helitack 74′ – 76′. I still have contact with a number of old friends from those day’s. I’ll have them check out They Said!

  4. 7

    GEORGE POND said,


    • 8

      Fred Burdeshaw said,

      Hello George,
      I hope to make contact with you and hope you are well. Surely you would not remember me but I was on your 1963 crew at Oak Grove. I was a 19 year old Auburn U. Forestry major getting my feet wet for the summer fighting fires on the LANF with you, Reid and Bruce. I was a real pain in the butt as I remember it. You guys were really great to me and it was quite an experience.

  5. 9

    Jim Linfoot said,

    Started 1964 Oak Grove HS, worked for George Pond. In 1965 Barely Flats Helitack for Troy Kurth and John Bowser. Went in USMC 3/’66 to 5/’68. In ’68/’69 TTO at Red Box for Tony Romero. In ’70/’71 FPT Short Cut. Then ’72/’73 HS Fmn for Dick O’Connor at Chilao. Then ’75/’76 Eng Fmn at Angeles Crest. ’76/’79 Eng Fmn San Dimas. Then in ’80/’81 HS Fmn at Chilao for Gary Raybould. In ’82/’83 Williams, AZ. In ’85 Eng Fmn Bear Divide then ’86/’88 Eng Fmn Big Tujunga. In ’88/’90 Dispatch ANF then in ’90 transfered to Cibola NF Albuquerque, NM as Comunications Center Manager until I retired in 1998. Still live in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.

  6. 13

    Chris Cuzynski said,

    I also worked for Oak Grove in 1971. I still see some of my co-workers. John Waroff and I sat down and came up with about half of the crew members names between a few beers. We used to have a Forest Service reunion at Paul Copelands house once in a while. Paul is now retired from LACO FD as is Tom McQuire. Me I am still working, 37 years with San Gabriel FD. I am starting to get some grey hair finally so I guess I’ll have to seriously consider retirement! Regards, Chris Cuzynski.

  7. 15

    Ronald Shurney said,

    I began my career in 1970 with Texas Canyon hot shots. In ’74 I was driver at East Fork; went from there to Oak Grove hot shots. When crew was disbanded, I went to Chantry Helitack, followed by time at Mount Baldy Helitack, then to San Bernadino as AFMO at Arrow Head Ranger District; then FMO at Big Bear. From 1997 until retiring in 2001, I was AFMO at Savannah River Nuclear Weapons Site in South Carolina. I’m now fishing and hunting as often as I can in and around Huntsville, Alabama.

    • 16

      David Provencio said,

      Hey Ron Shurney, good to hear you finally retired. Hope you are having plenty of sex, drugs and alcohol. ha….. Dave (Fulton 71-83)

    • 17

      dave maxell said,

      What an awsome picture. Ron Shurney had his paitence tryed more than once while working at Oak Grove, in the end he could’nt be flustered. I am sure Ron, that you did roll your eyes more than once at the antics of grunt firefighters. Thanks for being solid back in the day. Is that Dick (goat roper) Gitman looking in the left of that picture? I don’t recall the other cerwman, but they were standing with Shurney, good enough. If you wonder, I worked my way through Region 6 and on to the B LM in Alaska and then the State of Alaska DNR. Now a retired Forester since may 2010 I hunt, fish and float as much as possible. There are a few stories to tell, at the reunion….

    • 18

      Gordon Rowley said,

      Ron Glad to hear yor are still among the living. I am doing fine, retired but still working trails. Got McLeod fever.
      Please email me gonoro@verizon.net
      I think of you often.


    • 19

      John O'Sullivan said,

      Hi Ron
      Patty says hi too amazing to see you old farts are still kickin! Great blog page \we still remember your contagious laugh!
      John O’Sullivan

    • 20

      John Wambaugh said,

      shurney –you dog. this is wambaugh. looking thru the photos of the reunion. well done . I couldn’t make it. Great fun to see Gamm , the Hud, Serrato, Louie , Maxell, and of course yourself. Good health to you all. But I don’t think any photo surpasses you of your photo with your pants down and scratching from poison oak on the Marble Cone and you threatening me with immediate expulsion from the crew — or immediate death — I seem to recall that we left the fire with only 12 members of the crew left. Best regards — fazoo@js-net.com.

    • 23

      Mike Dunn said,

      You did well. You were my foreman with Steve Arney. on the Oak Grove Hot Shots… You nicknamed me Sarg. We worked with a high energy ex marine named Larry Thomas.
      Remember Mike Rohde? Rohde ended up a chief with Orange County. Catch a bass for me.

  8. 24

    Collin Kruschke said,

    I started my career in 1966 with the Chalao hotshots.1967
    Redding smokejumpers after returning from Redding assigned
    to oakgrove engine/hotshots.Januay 1968 drafted 9th divison
    mekong delta.1970-1971 engine/hotshots oak grove.1972-1973
    engineer oak flats station.1974 captain engine north fork station.1975 captain engine bear divide station.1976-1977
    bear divide hotshots. 1978 -1987 Plumas N.F. captain engine.
    1987-2003 Point mugu fire department firefighter/engineer
    Retired January 2003.

  9. 25

    Tom Kruschke said,

    I was never assigned to Oak Grove, except for winter work and light duty. I started late in 1966 on the Chalao Hotshots with Gene Kudahsal. 1967 to 1970 US Army. 1970 Angeles Crest Tanker 1-10 with Noy Hobson. 1971 to July 1972 Chantry Flats Tanker 1-17 with Bill Johnson. July 1972 to Oct. 1972 returned to Angeles Crest Tanker as TTO. Oct. 1972 I was hired by the Ventura County Fire Department. Retired Mar. 2004 as a Captain.

  10. 26

    Greg "Rookie" O'Sullivan said,

    I think being assigned to winter work at Oak Grove should count as being on the crew (even though Chilao was the better of the two crews!) I started in April of ’73 at Oak Grove working on a fuel mod crew (on Bailey Canyon Fuel Break) with Mike Terry, Robert “Moe” Moore, Mike Brown, Mike (Daugherty) Paul, Mike Bergdahl, Mike Koselka, ? Hayden, Brett Higbee. I think Donny “dipstick” DeYoung and Mike Paige, and John Barmore were on the crew also…you old farts know how memory fades.
    I worked seasonally at Chilao (both the Hot Shots and Tanker crew) in 1973 and 1974. Went to Red Box in 1975 and became a “25-1” full timer at Clear Creek on Water Tender 1 in 1976-1977 (the water tender John Barmore rolled later on a fire). In 1978, went to East Fork as a Captain. 1980 assigned as the Helishot foreman at Chantry Flats, crew eliminated and assigned to Chilao as Hotshot Foreman and then to San Dimas as the Engine Foreman. Left the USFS in 1982 for San Gabriel Fire Department. Left there in 1998 for a Fire Chief’s position in Templeton, California and retired in 2010.
    Thanks to those putting together the webpage and history!

    • 27

      Robert Serrato said,

      Think again rookie, working on the winter crew out of O.G is a stretch, not saying you could not hang, I would have gladly been your saw partner.
      Take care

    • 28

      Gordon Rowley said,

      See you haven’t changed!!!

      How Long were you East Fork Captian and who was your driver.
      They removed East Fork last week ( gone) Morgan Keck wants to do a plaque to hang in new station at Rincon.
      Please let me know! email gonoro@verizon.net

  11. 29

    chris slate said,

    Chris Slate, Oak Grove 71 and 72. Seasonal till 78 finishing at Tanbark helitack with brother Steve. Followed DeYoung to South Pasadena fire and currently at San Luis Obispo City Fire. Hope I can make the reunion to tell stories and meet some new wildland firefighters.

  12. 30

    Monty Parrott said,

    After my discharge from The U.S. Navy, My twin brother Bob, showed me an article in the Pasadena Star News. The Oak Grove Hotshots were looking for a few good men to fight brush fires. I was an outdoors guy and spent many years hiking and fishing in the Angeles National Forest. In Sept. 1958 I was Interviewed by FCO Eddy Lundgrin and District Ranger Ed Corp. Worked on the O.G. Hotshots the remainder of 1958 and Winter crew of 1959. In 1960, I was assigned TTO on the O.G. Engine. Larry Boggs was the Captain (engine foremen) We had some great times, Summer & Winter crew of 60-61. In the early years, promotions and station assignments were frequent. Big Tijunga, Chilao Hot shots foremen, Sierra Madre prevention, Back to Chilao Hot shots as asst.Supt. and Engine Captain. Promotion to the San Bernardino National Forest in 1970. (Crestline Prevention)., Then on to the San Jacinto Ranger district as FPO in 1976. Marty Barrows was the FMO and later, Rod Wrench. Great people to work for. Lots of fire fighting and non stop, busy times. The three of us began our careers on the Angeles and San Bernardino Forest. The last 8 years, before retireing, I worked in Forest Supps. office detail, in Law Enforcement, Air Attack, and retired in 1988 from the Beautiful San Jacinto Ranger District. Since 1988 I was an antique dealer and had a maintenence business in Idyllwild and Riverside County. My Wife, Judy and I now live in the City of San Jacinto, at the base of Mt. San Jacinto. We are very busy, and enjoy volunteering, Landscapping and caregiving within our Mobile Home Park, Villa Del Monte. All For Now.
    Monty & Judy Parrott

  13. 31

    Monty Parrott said,

    I was On the Oak Grove Hotshots in 1958.
    Ed Corp and Ed Lungrin hired me.

    Monty Parrott
    San Jacinto Ca.

  14. 32

    Ray Hensley said,

    Started with the USFS 1967 on the Oak Grove Trail Crew for Larry Boggs. Tom Brown was Foreman first seasons.
    Oak Grove Hotshots for two or three years? It’s a blurr. Larry Boggs and Skip Pike then Chet Cash.
    Angeles Crest Tanker, two seasons for Jim Linfoot and Dean Weakman. Good men, all.

  15. 33

    Chris Cuzynski said,

    Hey Ray Hensley,

    What are you and brother Tom doing these days? I’ll never forget hiking down the fuel break in Big Tujunga with you when you hurt your knee. Red picked you up at the bottom I think. I had to hike back to the top, got there just about daybreak in time to be relieved and sent back down the hill again! What fire was that? We turned that ridgeline into a highway it seemed.

  16. 34

    John said,

    I am looking for any contact info for Louie Mora.

  17. 35

    Bob Noone said,

    I was a hot shovel on the Oak Grove Hotshots in Pasadena the summer of 1972.I was 19 years old and had just driven to Pasadena cross-country from Virginia at the end of my freshman year of college.

    I particularly remember my very first night in the hotshot crew barracks . . . alone, because it was early season-end of May and I was the first guy to report for work. The fire alarm went off at about 2:00 a.m. The crew boss came running in and told me to suit up and throw my gear on the truck.

    I thought it was an “effin new guy” drill and that I would be met with a fire hose bath by the other crew members the moment I stepped outside, but that wasn’t the case.

    As the crew boss fired up the truck, lights and sirens, other crew members pulled their cars into the parking lot and jumped on and loaded up. We screamed through the abandoned streets of Pasadena to the Burbank airport, where we waited inside a building on the far side of a runway. Other crew members arrived and joined us and we waited for a couple of hours until just before first light when we loaded up again, this time onto a WWII vintage plane, right out of a Humphrey Bogart movie .no windows, benches running the length of the fuselage which we strapped onto to keep us from sliding sideways down to the back of the plane . . . and flew through the grey light over the Sierras to a private airstrip outside of Reno. By 8:00 a.m. the heat was unbearable, but it was okay. I had absolutely no idea what kind of heat I was in for!

    We took shelter in the shade of a huge Quonset hut on a runway seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Bands of heat radiated off the tarmac.and we waited.

    After a while a couple of black limousines appeared across the tarmac driving toward us, and I thought . . cool! Except they weren’t coming to pick us up. The drivers, dressed in black suite, ties and sunglasses, pulled up and opened the locked Quonset hut doors and invited us inside where it was a little cooler, but where there were also about a half dozen, or more,vintage airplanes in mint condition. We were told this was Bill Lear’s (reputed to be the inventor of the jet engine) private hangar. Within an hour or so we heard the building roar of a jet engine somewhere off in the
    distance, but couldn’t make anything out in the blinding white desert sky. Literally all of a sudden the building sound of the jet engine merged with the small black profile of a jet flying toward us. Within minutes the jet landed and taxied to our Quonset hut. It was a small, 2-4 seater with only one occupant . . . the pilot, who introduced himself to us, and shook the hands of those of us who were blown away to recognize his name . . Bill Lear himself!

    Lear climbed in the back of one of the limos and pulled away. He returned about an hour later, shook our hands again, hopped in his jet and in a matter of no more than thirty seconds, it seemed, fired up his jet, taxied back down the runway, and in an explosion of sound, fired off and disappeared quickly into the distant horizon.

    Man, there are so many stories, such as my first three-seater, open-air helicopter drop into a fire, but I have to get to work!

    I would love to hear from other members of the 1972 crew. I lost all my photos when I sent them back to Oak Grove in the Fall of 1972 to be copied and never saw them again, so any pics would be greatly appreciated.

    Bob Noone
    1031 Cooper Avenue
    Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
    Phone (970) 945-7767
    Cell: (970) 379-3200

  18. 36

    Rod Duff said,

    Please send info on registration for the reunion.

  19. 37


  20. 38

    Pat Brennan said,

    Hey rookie,want to swim three lakes??..again..haaa this is Pat Brennan if you get a chance e-mail me,will let you know what i did after chialo……….e-mail inputthree@yahoo.com……..Take care Pat Brennan seasonal 71 chialo hot shots.

  21. 39

    Bob Noone said,

    Does anyone have any photos from 1972?

    Bob Noone

  22. 40

    buy levitra said,

    Wow! In the end I got a webpage from where I know how
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  23. 41

    Barbara Milazzo said,

    Can anyone help me locate Dean Weakman. Last I heard from James Arthur he retired and moved toward Crowly lake or there abouts. I would like to find the old dog.

  24. 42

    I worked on Little T Hot Shots for the 1974 fire season. Oak Grove Hot Shots for the ’75-76 seasons and finished my Forest Service tenure with the Chilao Hot Shots in 1977. I am a richer man for having known all of you. thanks for being a part of my life. Hogi.

    • 43

      Mike Dunn said,

      Did you work for Ron Shurney and Steve Arney. If so we were on the same crew. I think I was on oak grove in 1974.

  25. 44

    cody said,

    I am trying to gather some info on some other disbanded crews. I think it is amazing how you preserved your history. Unfortunately there are alot of crews that dont have the same. If anyone out there has info on Ozena Hotshots, Converse Hotshots or the old Monterey Hotshots please email me. Also looking for old Valyermo helishot pics. Im just trying to compile as much info as possible and save what I can and maybe display somewhere. I would love to one day see a hotshot museum. Any info, Pics, logos etc please email. codyblanco23@gmail.com

  26. 46

    David Provencio said,

    Oak Grove Hot Shots:

    Take a look at the attached link (e-book) about the “Hot Shot History in America”. I had a great conversation with Steve Arney, and I am following up with the “Lessons Learned Center” to have the Oak Grove history inserted.




  27. 47

    Ron Hamann said,

    I was a member of the Oak Grove Hotshots, summer of 1966 and part of 1967. Then, got drafted went to Vietnam. Eventually retired from the National Park Service. Had a great career as a Ranger. The Oak Grove Hotshots were the toughest group of men I ever met. Hardest work I ever enjoyed.

  28. 48

    Mike Alt said,

    I started on the Chilao Hot Shots upon returning to the states in 1970 with Dick O’Conner, Gary Raybold, Don Lopez, and Jim Craig. Left for a firefighter position at Vandenberg AFB, and Solvang FD. Took a couple years to serve in Rhodesian Army and returned in 1980 at Chantry with Bob Serato. Went back to Chilao H.S. In 81, got the Engine Capt. At Chilao in 83 then Clear Creek in 88. Ended up in Law Enforcement Level 4 and retired in 2002. Way too many good times with good people whose names I have seen posted, Jim Linfoot, Shurney, Provencio, Mora, Serrato, Greg, Ray and Ed Hensley, Jim Ogilvie, Dan Smith (Red Box) Ed Littler, Dean Weakman, and still remember the Agriculture USA Lumberjack Show at Charlton Flats in 1970 (?) against Oak Grove H.S. Anyway thanks for giving me such fond, crazy, sometimes scary, lifelong memories. I

    • 49

      Chris Cuzynski said,

      I think the lumberjack show was in 1971. I was at Oak Grove and remember going through a lot of double bit axe handles before and during that competition!

      • 50

        Mike Alt said,

        You know Chris, after giving it more thought you are correct, it was 71. But guess what is hanging ing my garage? The Oak Grove H.S. Painted sign off the back of your old crew truck. I found it at Oak Grove Sta. In an old building in the late 1990’s. I have tried to donate it to someone from the crew, but no one seems to want it. So it hangs on my wall, a guy from Chilao. Go figure………….Mike

  29. 51

    Chris Cuzynski said,

    We are having a reunion on Tahoe in a few weeks. I would love to have the crew sign off the truck. Others too no doubt.
    If your still interested in parting with it let me know.

  30. 52

    Mike Dunn said,

    Mike Dunn,,,,Hot Shot…..hot shovel…..found Mike Rohde and Steve Arney on facebook. Looks like I was with OG in 1974, Remember Ron Shurney “soupy” Sales..Steve Pock….Larry “nasty” Thomas..I still have the wood pecker patch and a yellow t shirt..(from Tanbark Helishots) Angeles National Forest. Missed the reunion because I did not hear about it……very glad to reconnect with all of you. I also have some old pictures of us on the fire line.

  31. 53

    Greg O'Sullivan said,

    Greetings to all,

    I am sad to report that Chris Cuzynski died yesterday (10-28-2016). There is not much information available at this time. I will post more as it becomes available. Chris worked on the Oak Grove Hot Shots starting in 1971, but not sure for how many years.

    Hoping you are all well.

    Greg “Rookie” O’Sullivan

  32. 54

    Mike Dunn said,

    Sad to hear. Thanks for the information.

  33. 55

    David A Tice Sr said,

    I worked at the big tujunga station on a pumper crew in the late 1950s, my brother worked at oak grove first as a cook, and then as a hotshot forman, back in those days all of the hotshot crews were Navajo indians

    • 56

      Larry Boggs said,

      Are anhy relation to Jack Tice, a Oak Grove foreman?

      • 57

        Dave Tice Sr. said,

        He is my brother, my name is David Tice

        On Sun, Feb 17, 2019, 12:32 PM Oak Grove Hotshots Blog Larry Boggs commented: “Are anhy relation to Jack Tice, a Oak Grove > foreman?” >

  34. 58

    Fred Burdeshaw said,

    I was on the ’63 HS crew working for George Pond, Reid Marks and Bruce Stevenson. I was an Auburn Forestry major out for the summer fire season. I am anxious to contact anyone from that crew. I ran around with a blond-haired kid named Mike a lot. I understand that Reid and Bruce have passed on, sadly. Blessings to all. Fred Burdeshaw

    • 59

      Fred Burdeshaw said,

      Since the above post I have learned that Bruce Hamp was “the Bruce” I referred to above and have been in contact with him. Also have initiated contact with other ’63 Hot Shots Royal Mannion, Mike McGeragle and John Patten due to help from Steve Arney and Larry Boggs. I look forward to continued dialogue!

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