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COMMITTEE ON
INTERIOR AND INSULAR AFFAIRS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
EIGHTY-FIFTH CONGRESS

FIRST SESSION

ON

MATTERS RELATIVE TO THE CONTROL OF FOREST AND

BRUSH FIRES IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES, CALIF.
OCTOBER 8 AND 9, 1957

Printed for the use of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs

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COMMITTEE ON INTERIOR AND INSULAR AFFAIRS.

CLAIR ENGLE, California, Chairman WAYNE N. ASPINALL, Colorado

A. L. MILLER, Nebraska LEO W. O'BRIEN, New York

JOHN P. SAYLOR, Pennsylvania WALTER ROGERS, Texas

J. ERNEST WHARTON, New York MRS. GRACIE PFOST, Idaho

E. Y. BERRY, South Dakota
JAMES A. HALEY, Florida

WILLIAM A. DAWSON, Utah
GEORGE A. SHUFORD, North Carolina JACK WESTLAND, Washington
ADAM CLAYTON POWELL, JR., New York JOHN R. PILLION, New York
ED EDMONDSON, Oklahoma

CRAIG HOSMER, California
LEE METCALF, Montana

JOHN J. RHODES, Arizona GEORGE H. CHRISTOPHER, Missouri J. EDGAR CHENOWETH, Colorado B. F. SISK, California

JAMES B. UTT, California STEWART L. UDALL, Arizona

KEITH THOMSON, Wyoming CHARLES C. DIGGS, JR., Michigan

PHIL WEAVER, Nebraska
J. T. RUTHERFORD, Texas

HAROLD R. COLLIER, Illinois
WALTER S. BARING, Nevada
AL ULLMAN, Oregon

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SPECIAL SUBCOMMITTEE

CLAIR ENGLE, California, Chairman
JAMES A. HALEY, Florida

JOHN P. SAYLOR, Pennsylvania
GEORGE A. SHUFORD, North Carolina CRAIG HOSMER, California
B. F. SISK, California

JOHN J. RHODES, Arizona
STEWART L. UDALL, Arizona

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CONTENTS

71

202

Statement of-

Keith Arnold, Director, California Forest and Range Experiment Page

Station, United States Forest Service.-----

Mrs. J. B. Atkisson, chairman, conservation of natural resources,

Verdugo District, California Federation of Women's Clubs, Pasa-
dena, Calif...

230

H. H. Biswell, professor, School of Forestry, University of California,

Berkeley, Calif.---

Burton W. Bogardus, president, Big Santa Anita Canyon Permittees’

Association.----

Harry W. Brelsford, attorney, Santa Barbara, Calif., accompanied

by S. A. Nash-Boulden and Adrian G. Wood..

113

W. B. Carter, chairman, Watershed Fire Council of Southern Cali-

fornia --

142

N. L. Clarine, superintendent of communication, Southern California

Edison Co., Alhambra, Calif..-----

Charles A. Connaughton, regional forester, California region, United

States Forest Service, San Francisco, Calif.------

Ralph L. Fenner, Fenner & Day Co., Richmond, Calif.---

175

Jerry Foote, Los Angeles, Calif., representing the Sierra Club.--- 232
Francis C. Greer, Santa Barbara, Calif., representing the Board of
Supervisors of San Luis Obispo County ----

117

Col. H. E. Hedger, Chief engineer, Los Angeles County Flood Control

District..

49

T. William Heidner, chief, city of Pasadena Fire Department, Pasa-
dena, Calif.

139
Carl N. Hewitt, Summit, Calif..

248
Walter H. Janssen, Santa Barbara, Calif.-----

236

F. R. Jewett, Ventura, Calif., Ventura County's representative on the

Watershed-Fire Council of Southern California -

Keith E. Klinger, chief engineer, Los Angeles County Fire Depart-

ment---------------------------
DeWitt Nelson, director, California Department of Natural Resources,

Sacramento, Calif...

M. A. Nicholas, chief engineer, county flood-control district, San

Bernardino, Calif..--..

------

188

Lloyd P. Parratt, president, Pomona Valley Audubon Society ------

Robert T. Radford, chairman, Los Angeles County Watershed Com-

mission, Los Angeles, Calif.'---

155

F. H. Raymond, State forester, California Division of Forestry, Cali-

fornia Department of Natural Resources, Sacramento, Calif. -
Waller H. Reed, chief forester, Collins Almanor Forest, Collins Pine

Co., Chester, Plumas County, Calif..

Earl Roberts, cochairman, Citizens Forestry Study Group of San

Diego County, Calif..----

David H. Rogers, Big Bear Timber Co., Redlands, Calif..---

168
A. W. Sampson, professor of forestry emeritus, School of Forestry,

University of California, Berkeley, Calif.---

Armen Sarafian, chairman, Pasadena Area Communitywide Com-

mittee on Conservation ---

219

W. R. Schofield, secretary-manager, California Forest Protective

Association, San Francisco, Calif.-.

162

W. E. Silverwood, director, Redlands-Highland Soil Conservation

District, Redlands, Calif..

Elmer L. Smith, assistant chief engineer, Water Department, City of

Pasadena, Calif.--------

153

Arthur W. Walker, consultant to State senate interim committee on

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185

forest practices, San Bernardino, Calif.-------------------------
Adrian G. Wood, Carpinteria, Calif.---

178
204

FOREST FIRE CONTROL IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 8, 1957

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SPECIAL SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE COMMITTEE
ON INTERIOR AND INSULAR AFFAIRS,

Los Angeles, Calif. The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:10 a. m., in room 518, the Federal Building, Hon. Clair Engle presiding.

The CHAIRMAN. The subcommittee will be in order.

This morning we commence the testimony regarding the problem of forest-fire prevention and control. I am glad to note this is Fire Prevention Week here, which seems to make this an appropriate atmosphere for the hearing.

The Chair desires to make a short statement.

During the past week, this committee has traveled over much of southern California. We have driven through the mountains, and we have flown over the top of them. We have been greatly impressed by the sheer ruggedness of these mountains, and how civilization has crowded right up to the steep brush slopes. I am very much aware of the need for water in this southland and that nearly three-fourths of your present annual water requirements comes from these same mountain watersheds.

Flying back from Blythe last Saturday we saw the debris-laden washes of the Santa Ana, San Antonio, and San Gabriel Rivers. We were particularly impressed by the great flood-control dams you people have built to stop the onrush of muck and boulders from enveloping your homes, citrus groves, and vineyards.

In my judgment, the fire problem in southern California, based on what we have seen the past few days, is more critical than in any other section of the United States—probably on this earth, for that matter. Too many fires get started, too many get out of control, too many vital watersheds are blackened and ruined. And, unfortunately, lives are sometimes lost in these holocausts.

These fires of this year have been about as numerous as in 1956, but thus far they have been smaller and less costly. In 1956 total damages within the limits of the four national forests were estimated at nearly $8 million. Losses in adjoining areas were even more. By midfire season of this year, southern California national forest losses have totaled no more than $150,000. The losses of 1956 averaged in the neighborhood of $100 an acre; during the first half of the 1957 fire season they have been less than $15 an acre.

At this point I want to say that the Forest Service has an excellent record in fire-control methods. They have been progressive and even adventurous in the field of new methods. They have a better system

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