Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
San Fernando Valley Aerial View
1962 'Melody Ranch' Fire

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FIRE 8-28-1962
San Fernando Valley

thumbnail Olive View 8-28-1962

thumbnail Olive View Aftermath (1962)

thumbnail SFV Aerial 8-28-1962

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."

Further Reading:

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.
• 1952-1962 Pre-Fire
• 1962 Fire
• 1962-1990 Post-Fire
• Veluzat Era 1991—


• AP Full Story
• AP Short Story


Melody 8-28-1962


Oil Tank 8-28-1962


SFV (Mult.)


Man Flees 8-28-1962


Melody 8-29-1962


Olive View: Aftermath 1962


Salvaged Buckle


Salvaged Whip


Salvaged Conchos


Salvaged Curb Bit


Salvaged Iron

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