Fire Traps Civilian Forest Workers
Thirty-three workmen and civilian foresters were burned to death in Griffith Park, Cal., on October 3 when they were trapped in gulleys and ravines. In addition about one hundred others were injured and badly burned.
The fire victims were nearly all recruits from unemployment lists who had gone into the brush covered foothills
of the city park reservation. Many knew little about woodlands, and it is said, were easy prey for the flames because they became panicky and lost their way when the fire advanced. Some who escaped told of being so filled with fear that their muscles became paralyzed, and they fled only after the flames moved them to desperate efforts.
It is believed that some workman, in spite of the many warning signs in the section, lit a cigarette and then carelessly tossed the butt to the roadside.
The park is situated ten miles from the down town district and is surrounded by Los Angeles, Glendale and Burbank. Its small mountains are criss-crossed with riding trails. The lower areas contain three golf courses, swimming pools and tennis courts.
Nine first aid stations were established on the fringe of Griffith Park.
This was the worst fire toll in the history of the county. It occurred in an area that was set aside for the pleasure of the city residents.