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Forest Service Worker Admits Setting Fatal Fire

October 14, 2009 |  8:00 am

This is how we did fire maps 50 years ago. The map is hard to read, but compare it with the one we did for the Station fire.

View Los Angeles fires: Mount Wilson, Altadena, Pasadena, Acton, Agua Dulce, Sierra Madre in a larger map

Oct. 14, 1959: The Times brings out an extra on the forest fire.




June 24, 1960, William Douglas Grater is sentenced in the fire.

Oct. 14, 1959: A fire that started along Angeles Crest Highway near Dark Canyon threatens homes in what is now the La Canada Flintridge area. William Douglas Grater Jr., a 20-year-old Forest Service employee, confessed to setting the fire, which killed two Zuni Indian firefighters and burned 14,000 acres. He was sentenced to a year in jail and seven years’ probation.