The 1927 Burbank Canyon Fire

From a website on the Burbank Fire Department page that is no longer up

Authorization from the City Council for 14 additional paid firemen on May 31,1927 brought the Fire Department from a partly paid mostly volunteer Fire Department to a paid Fire Department with a holdover of some volunteers. The last record of a volunteer responding to a fire was in June of 1928. The authorized strength of the fire department in 1927 was 19 men. The Fire Department reached a milestone in its early history with an almost purely paid Department, three new stations, and two new pieces of apparatus.

In 1927 a major brush fire occurred in the Verdugo Mountains above Burbank. A fire began before noon on Saturday, December 3. A resident of La Crescenta was burning grape trimmings from his vineyard in Haines Canyon in the San Gabriel Mountains. He lost control of the windswept fire. The fire jumped Foothill Blvd and spread into the Verdugo Mountain range. The fire burned all that day on the La Crescenta side of the ridge. Burbank Firemen and Volunteers climbed to the ridge to set their defense against the oncoming fire.

At 1:30 am., December 4, the fire came over the ridge and over the would be defenders. The fire spotted a considerable distance beyond the main body of the fire, with embers being driven by a down canyon wind. The fire burned into Sunset Canyon destroying 100 homes. The firemen had laid 2200 feet of 2 inch hose up the canyon floor from a swimming pool at the Sunset Canyon Country Club. The fire was so intense that the hose line had to be abandoned and the firemen had to flee for their lives. The next day the canyon floor had a coupling every fifty feet with the ash of hose in between. Firefighters and equipment from Los Angeles County, Los Angeles City, and the City of Glendale participated in the firefight. The fire was brought under control only when the wind shifted.


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