August 28, 1962 —
San Fernando Valley view to the east, as the brush fire(s) burn into the San Gabriel Mountains.
Associated Press wire photo, 7x8 inches, from an unknown newspaper archive. Published caption reads:
A brush fire raced out of control Tuesday night [8-28-1962] across the San Gabriel mountains, away from the city of San Fernando.
the homes in the foreground are in Los Angeles [San Fernando Valley]. Olive View sanatorium, on fire, is hidden from view by the smoke.
About the Fire(s)
The first blaze broke out just after noon in Hasley Canyon, north of Castaic Junction. The second broke out an hour later near the Circle J Ranch between
Newhall and Saugus. High winds whipped the flames into the most intense inferno anyone had ever seen.
When the smoke cleared three days later, 17,200 acres had been scorched and 15 structures and numerous out-buildings were lost.
No one was killed, but the Western street at Melody Ranch was gone.
"I had always planned to erect a Western museum there," Autry remembered in 1995, "but priceless Indian relics and a collection of rare guns,
including a set used by Billy the Kid, went up in smoke. Thank God, the ranch hands and all 14 of our horses were uninjured."
800 TB Patients Flee Fire; Homes, Autry Ranch Razed (AP 8-29-1962)
My Memories Of Melody Ranch by Gene Autry, 1995
Melody Ranch: Movie Magic in Placerita Canyon
LW3050: 9600 dpi jpeg from original wire photo purchased 2017 by Leon Worden.