Assist with brush fire

December 02, 1979
Tahquitz Canyon

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By John Dew

It was Sunday evening about 6:30 when my phone rang. A voice on the other end explained that he was from the U.S. Forest Service and had a need for assistance. He had talked with Al Andrews and been advised to call out here to Hemet, as there were several RMRU members living here, only a few would be needed and this was much closer than Riverside.

He explained his need. There was a brush fire up in Tahquitz Canyon and his men didn't know the trail. It was dark and he wanted us to lead them in to assess the situation to know how many men to have there the next morning to fight the fire.

I immediately called Walt Walker. He wasn't home. I called Hal Fulkman. He wasn't home. I called Bernie McIlvoy in Riverside. He was at home. He said he would get someone else from there and go to Palm Springs to meet the Forest Service. I left Hemet to meet them there.

Bernie contacted Joe Ericson who was also able to go. We met at the familiar roadhead at the mouth of Tahquitz Canyon. Bernie and Joe led three Forest Service men in. I remained at base so these men would have a link with the outside world via HandiTalkie radio.

The assessment was made. The men returned to the roadhead at about midnight and we each returned to our homes.

RMRU felt it was another service we are able to supply in the realm of volunteer public service in mountaineering.