Floriston, CA Forest Fires Rage In California, July 1924

Susanville Building Caught By Flames




Floriston, California, July 29. -- Fighting to save Floriston and the giant paper mill on the Truckee river canyon from destruction by fire, KARL ROSEL, 32, was killed early this afternoon, when struck by a rock.
He gave his life to save members of his crew.
Burning of brush in the hilside released a huge boulder, which crashed down toward the river. ROSEL was the first to hear it. He shouted to the men to seek shelter behind trees. When the others were safe he jumped to get out of the path of the oncoming rock, but too late, he was crushed beneath it and died an hour later from his injuries.
Approximately 500 men are battling the flames which are raging on the hills on both sides of the narrow canyon. An additional 100 men from Reno and Truckee are expected here tomorrow morning to give aid.
Crosses River.
The fire started at about noon today on the west side of the river. In the middle of the afternoon it jumped to the opposite side of the Truckee and tonight is burning on the ridges at Floriston and for about a mile down stream.
The Truckee River Power company's plant at Fared, two miles below Floriston is in imminent danger.
Tonight the wind has died and the race of the flames checked, temporarily.
The paper mill flume, used to carry waste from the plant was destroyed this afternoon with damage estimated at $5,000.
Reno Gives Aid.
Reno has sent assistance, in the way of a steam fire fighting engine and men. The engine is being used to guard the wood yard and the mill. About 1,000 feet of hose was also sent from Reno.
A fire train was sent from Truckee by the Southern Pacific railroad company.
Mayor E. E. ROBERTS of Reno has offered all resources of the city in aiding Floriston, in supplying fire fighting equipment and men. All available city employes will be sent to the fire if needed, the mayor said.
The crisis in the fight is expected today. Describing the condition, W. E. GRAVES, division manager of the paper company said, "If we can handle the fire tomorrow we will be O. K."
ROSEL, the victim of the fire, leaves a wife in San Francisco. He was married about a year ago. He was about 32 years old and superintendent of the sulphide plant at the mill.

Susanville, Cal., July 29. -- Four "donkey" logging engines, valued at $5,000 each; eight Southern Pacific flat cars used for logging purposes, valued at $3,000 each; one tank car owned by the Fruit Growers Supply company, valued at $2,000; approximately 20 miles of railroad track owned by the Fruit Growers Supply company and several sections of valuable timber have been destroyed during the last 24 hours by a forest fire which is beyond control in the timber of the fruit growers logging camps.
The fire started Monday afternoon in camp F and swept through millions of feet of pine timber. At a late hour today it has been estimated that the fire has eight miles more of solid timber to burn through before it can be blocked, despite the efforts of 575 men working constantly.
There is an arid area located eight miles north and northeast of the present location of the blaze, where the fire fighters hope it eventually may be checked. The fighters are handicapped by a heavy breeze blowing at 20 miles an hour or more.
Railroad Ruined.
The logging railroad running into two of the fruit growers' camps has been damaged to such an extent that it will have to be fully rebuilt. The ties which were projecting from the ground are entirely burned, while the large standard steel rails are curled beyond further use. The loss of such trackage further handicaps the fighters, as had this railroad been saved, it would have allowed immediate logging as much of the timber in the path of the flames could have been immediately felled and hauled to the mills for cutting and avoid a total loss.
The Red River Lumber company of Westwood sent 110 fire fighters to the scene of the blaze.
Sixty additional men were equipped at the Lassen Lumber and Box company's logging camp and were sent out tonight.
ANother reserve of men is being sent from the plant at Susanville, where 400 men are employed, and its production at this end probably will be curtailed until the fire at the logging camps is entirely under control.
No damage was done to the Southern Pacific tracks as the fire is several miles north in the woods, but the equipment which was destroyed was the property of the Southern Pacific and was being loaded with logs on the fruit growers' siding.
The donkey logging engines are beyond repair.
The fire fighters are fighting the blaze with shovels by throwing dirt on the fire, but the flames were making rapid progress through the timber at a northeasterly angle and has several miles to burn before fire fighters can get in front of it to assure at least temporary control.
Susanville Saved.
Three shifts of men are still being kept in the fire area, which threatened to destroy Susanville yesterday, and foremen in charge anticipate full control tonight. A strong breeze has stirred the ashes, but there is very little left to burn in this vicinity, as the timber and shrubbery has been entirely wiped out.
Patients at the county hospital were returned there today after being driven out Monday by the flames. The county hospital and other county buildings were in the midst of the flames for three hours, but no great damage was done, the flames being confined to the tree tops and shrubbery.
MISS ANNA STEWART, who was confined to her home with typhoid fever, was taken from her home when the yard was wrapped in flames, but has suffered no ill effects from the scare and is resting easily in the Riverside hospital. Her home was saved.
Residents believe this fire has destroyed all shrubbery and brush in a dangerous territory and assures safety for the future, as the shortage of water and equipment proved to be a handicap to the entire community during the progress of yesterday's fire.
A small stack of hay west of the RAMSEY ranch and located near the fire was totally destroyed late last night. The fire was due to combustion.

Nevada State Journal Reno Nevada 1924-07-30