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Socalmountains.com :: Forums :: FIRE DISCUSSION
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Panorama Fire - nearly 40 years

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springvalley
Thu Oct 31 2019, 04:13PM Email Thread Print View
Registered Member #14756
Joined: Mon Mar 26 2018, 08:26PM
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The discussion on the anniversary of the Old Fire - reminded me of the fire nearly 40 years ago now. The Panorama Fire of 1980. We had finished our house in RS and were working on building another over on Spring Oak. Then in November - a hellish wind started and once the fire started - it swept into the hillside neighborhoods - 310 home and 4 fatalities. I was wandering through youtube and found this footage of the Hemet Ryan base during the fire [Click Here]
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Benny ⭐
Thu Oct 31 2019, 07:27PM


Joined: Fri Aug 18 2006, 05:54PM
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That is fantastic old video, thanks for posting it!!!

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springvalley
Fri Nov 01 2019, 07:56PM
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Thanks Benny - I was working at March Air Base and I remember the wind holding the smoke almost on the ground from Panorama. The Tower at the base said it was clear above the smoke - and they could not see the ground. There's a lot of frantic media armwaving about the winds the last few weeks - but, I can remember maybe 5 windstorms in my lifetime of the magnitude of the one that carried Panorama.
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Fri Nov 01 2019, 08:52PM

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Great Video Spring!! Fascinating!

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springvalley
Sat Nov 02 2019, 09:41PM
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SCM - it was a motley selection of ww2 surplus - Converted old transports. etc. But it did the job as well as could be done. The kickers for me were the Fairchild's with that scabbed on jet engine. We had one about 1982 that dropped all over our house in Riverside near UCR. You could hear the engine delay as it spooled up about 5 seconds before the extra thrust was needed. It really looked like a solution cobbled up in a garage - - over beers. "well, Hell, let's jus strap on a jet engine someplace" (general laughter - then quiet) "Hey,,,,,, that might could just work!"
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©ammy ⭐
Tue Nov 05 2019, 08:00PM


Joined: Sat Aug 19 2006, 06:01PM
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Thanks for sharing!
Interesting to see Tankers 71 & 72 in that video. They're not the same planes we still see today with those same numbers, are they? I think they're S2's?
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springvalley
Wed Nov 06 2019, 09:49PM
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I doubt it - that was - ahem nearly 40 years ago. Metal fatigue - yikes. I think the ones we see today are the "TurboTracker" versions that were built by Marsh Avation about 15 years ago. They used gutted s2 tracker airframes and rebuilt them to the point they are no longer considered Gruman planes anymore. Both TT71 and TT72 are based out of SCal. The ones in the video have the old reciprocating engines - not turboprops. But, it is said that these new S2's are nearly immortal (as planes go)

However, I did some sleuthing - In the video, at least 2 of those planes still exist today. pby4-2 Privateer #127 is in the firefighting air museum in Greybull WY. (It has a VERY distinctive nose) Sadly, Privateer #123 and #130 both crashed in firefighting service and killed the crews - ending the pby4's career as a fire plane.

And, B-17 Firebomber #65 is now in a museum in England and has been cosmetically restored to it's WW2 configuration.
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robk (K6RBK)
Fri Nov 08 2019, 01:50PM
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Neat to see those WW2 birds in action. Thanks for sharing.
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Craig ⭐
Sat Nov 09 2019, 03:30PM

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Awesome Video!

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©ammy ⭐
Sat Nov 09 2019, 08:09PM


Joined: Sat Aug 19 2006, 06:01PM
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springvalley wrote ...

I doubt it - that was - ahem nearly 40 years ago. Metal fatigue - yikes. I think the ones we see today are the "TurboTracker" versions that were built by Marsh Avation about 15 years ago. They used gutted s2 tracker airframes and rebuilt them to the point they are no longer considered Gruman planes anymore. Both TT71 and TT72 are based out of SCal. The ones in the video have the old reciprocating engines - not turboprops. But, it is said that these new S2's are nearly immortal (as planes go)

However, I did some sleuthing - In the video, at least 2 of those planes still exist today. pby4-2 Privateer #127 is in the firefighting air museum in Greybull WY. (It has a VERY distinctive nose) Sadly, Privateer #123 and #130 both crashed in firefighting service and killed the crews - ending the pby4's career as a fire plane.

And, B-17 Firebomber #65 is now in a museum in England and has been cosmetically restored to it's WW2 configuration.

Thanks for all the details!
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