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LMUD Presents: This Day in Susanville History – July 23, 1950

Susanville from Inspiration Point in the early 1950’s. From an Eastman Studios Postcard.

Parallel Parking Laws Protested
July 23rd, 1950

More than 500 people have signed petitions protesting the city’s council recent parallel parking ordinance, Paul T. Wemple of the group opposing the ordinance, announced this morning. Thirty-four businessmen and others attended a meeting this week and approved circulation of 20 petitions, which ask the city council to repeal the parallel parking ordinance or to submit to the voters of the city for election.

Attorney Donald P. Cady, who drew up the petitions, pointed out that only registered voters of the city of Susanville may sign them in order to be effective.

There are about 2,800 registered voters within the city limits according to County Clerk Maud E. Tombs.

The petition says Pursuant to Div 4 Chapter 3 Articles 1 and 2 of the Elections Code of the State of California, we, the undersigned voters of Susanville do hereby protest to the Honorable City Council of the City of Susanville against the adoption of that certain ordinance adopted by the City Council on the 10th day of July, 1950 known and designated as Ordinance No 273 entitle (Part of the ordinance follows)

“And we hereby request the Honorable City Council of the City of Susanville to repeal said ordinance in its entirety or to submit the same to the voters of the City of Susanville at a regular or special election o be called for that purpose.”

Mayor Frank Burnett said he had no comment on circulation of the petitions at the present time.

LMUD Presents: This Day in Susanville History – July 22, 1889

Seismic Earthquakes Render Susanville Anything but Terra Firma
July 22, 1889

Slight earthquake shocks have been so continuous at Susanville in the Sierra Nevadas that the people have become accustomed to the constant trembling of the earth that they pay no attention to it.

Susanville lies on a high mountain-walled valley directly east of Lassen Butte, an extinct volcano 10,600 feet high. From its summit no less than forty extinct craters can be seen.

Cinder Cone, which rises 600 feet above the level of the plateau, was in eruption in 1850. Two prospectors visited it, and they found Lake Salfatra, eight miles south of Cinder Cone, a center of volcanic forces.

The lake was a mass of boiling water and mud, and from it vast columns of flames shot up at intervals. Timber in the vicinity was on fire.

Within two years there has seemed renewed activity in the internal fire, and the present shocks point to the possibility of another great volcanic outburst which will find vent through some of the craters.

LMUD Presents: This Day in Susanville History – July 21, 1924

Red River Lumber’s fire train and crew in 1936

Four “donkey” logging engines, valued at $5,000 each; eight Southern Pacific flat cars used for logging purposes, valued at $3,000 each; one tank care owned by the Fruit Growers Supply company, valued at $2,000; approximately 20 miles of railroad track owned by the Fruit Growers’ Supply company and several sections of valuable timber have been destroyed during the last 24 hours by a forest fire which is beyond control in the timber of the fruit growers’ logging camps.

The fire started Monday afternoon in camp F and swept through millions of feet of pine timber. At a late hour today it has been estimated that the fire has eight miles more of solid timber to burn through before it can be blocked, despite the efforts of 575 men working constantly.

Fire Loss Huge in Lassen County; Many Blazes Rage
July 21, 1924

There is an arid area located eight miles north and northeast of the present location of the blaze, where the firefighters hope it eventually may be checked. The fighters are handicapped by a heavy breeze blowing at 30 miles an hour or more.

Railroad Ruined

The logging railroad running into two of the fruit growers’ camps has been damaged to such an extent that it will have to be fully rebuilt. The ties which were projecting from the ground are entirely burned, while the large standard steel rails are curled beyond further use. The loss of suck trackage further handicaps the fighters, as had this railroad been saved it would have allowed immediate logging, as much of the timber in the path of the flames could have been immediately felled and hauled to the mills for cutting and avoid a total loss.

The Red River Lumber company of Westwood sent 110 firefighters to the scene of the blaze. Sixty additional men were equipped at the Lassen Lumber and Box company’s logging camp and were sent out tonight.

Another reserve of men is being sent from the plant at Susanville where 400 men are employed and its production at this end probably will be curtailed until the fire at the logging camps is entirely under control.

No damage was done to the Southern Pacific tracks, as the fire is several miles north in the woods, but the equipment which was destroyed was the property of the Southern Pacific and was being loaded with logs on the fruit growers’ siding.

The donkey logging engines are beyond repair.

The firefighters are fighting the blaze with shovels by throwing dirt on the fire, but the flames were making rapid progress through the timber at a northeasterly angle and has several miles to burn before firefighters can get in front of it to assure at least temporary control.

Susanville Saved

Three shifts of men are still being kept in the fire area, which threatened to destroy Susanville yesterday, and foremen in charge anticipated full control tonight. A strong breeze has stirred the ashes but there is very little left to burn in this vicinity, as the timber and shrubbery have been entirely wiped out.

Patients at the county hospital were returned there today after being driven out Monday by the flames. The county hospital and other county buildings were in the midst of the flames for three hours, but no great damage was done, the flames being confined to the treetops and shrubbery.

Miss Anna Stewart, who was confined to her home with typhoid fever, was taken from her home, when the yard was wrapped in flames, but has suffered no ill effects from the scare and is resting easily in the Riverside hospital. Her home was saved.

Residents believe this fire has destroyed all shrubbery and brush in a dangerous territory and assures safety for the future, as the shortage of water and equipment proved to be a handicap to the entire community during the progress of yesterday’s fire.

A small stack of hay west of the Ramsey ranch and located near the fire was totally destroyed late last night. The fire was due to combustion.

LMUD Presents: This Day in Susanville History – July 20, 1924

Army of 1,500 Guards Town In Danger Of Fire
Susanville In Momentary Peril From Flames; Four Homes Go; Stores, Mills Close
July 20, 1924

An army of 1,500 men is camped about the city limits of Susanville tonight, guarding the town against destruction by forest fire, threatened throughout the day.

All business houses and the two large lumber mills were closed today as the flames entered the city limits and destroyed four houses. All available men joined the fight.

For hours this afternoon the residents were in momentary fear that the entire town would be wiped out.

A solid wall of flame hovered at the edge of the Lassen county metropolis.

The blare of fire whistles from the lumber mills called out all workers, and businessmen also rushed to the scene of the blaze.

Fire at Hospital

Patients were removed from the county hospitals when the fire, a menace to the city Sunday, again broke from control this morning and showered sparks about the building. As the flames crept into the hospital year 15 men and women inmates were taken to the Riverside hospital in the eastern part of Susanville.

Westwood sent 50 men and equipment to assist on checking the fire.

The flames crossed the right of way of the Southern Pacific railroad but trains went through on schedule.

After being brought partially under control last night, the fire flared up anew at about noon, sweeping everything before it for a stretch of three miles, until it reached the city limits. Hills to the south and southwest of Susanville are covered only with charred stumps of trees.

The houses destroyed were in the Winchester addition n the southern section of the town.

Water Supply Fails

Pumps were used to protect the enormous piles of lumber in the Lassen Lumber and Box company and the Fruit Growers’ Supply company yards. The water was taken from the mill ponds and ditches. In many cases this afternoon, however, the supply was completely depleted.

Where the supply of water ran out, only the chance that sparks failed to fall, saved valuable property in the mills and town.

With the fire line at the city limits, women of Susanville worked this afternoon and evening preparing food for the fighters, who will remain on duty tonight.

A second fire in Lassen County was reported to the Fruit Growers’ Supply company at its camp F, 30 miles northwest of Susanville, toward Redding. The fire is near the highway and burning exceptionally valuable timber. Every available man from the camps has been sent to check on the fire which is reported being swept before a high wind, towards Eagle Lake.

Telephone lines between the camp and Susanville are down and detailed information of the blaze is lacking.

LMUD Presents: This Day in Susanville History – July 19, 1924

Sparks Rain On Town As Blazes Rage In Timber
Fire Burns Within Three Miles of Lassen County Lumber Town, 400 in Fight
Mill Property, County Hospital Endangered
Wingfield Ranch, Other Rich Holdings in Path of Devastating Fire
July 19, 1924

Sparks from a forest fire raging three miles from Susanville today endangered approximately 80 million feet of cured lumber, county buildings and other property within the town today. Throughout the day the county hospital was sprinkled with water constantly to protect the building. The lumber yards of the two large companies were patrolled to guard against fire resulting from the falling sparks.

Driven before a brisk west wind, the flames burned an area of about eight square miles and were uncontrolled tonight.

Valuable timber lands, ranches and livestock are in the path of the fire.

Four hundred men were called from the town to battle the blaze when it was noticed at 11 o’clock this morning. They continued their efforts to check it tonight.

A slackening of the wind this evening gave a respite to those who were protecting the town.

Provisions were sent from Susanville tonight for the firefighters on the fire line.

The fire is in government timber and three ridges have been burned over tonight, destroying valuable trees.

Logging equipment is in momentary danger and the Wingfield ranch not the property of the Lassen Lumber and Box company, on which is much thoroughbred stock seem doomed unless the fire is halted or the direction of the wind changes. Tonight the fire is within four miles of the ranch.

Mayfields at the edge of Susanville presents an added hazard to the lumber store here. Water wagons have been stationed at various points.

Besides the lumber yards and the county buildings, the Ramsey and Ridenour ranches are said to be threatened by the fire.

Dynamite stored by the county at the outskirts of Susanville was removed today due to fear of a possible explosion should the fire reach it.

The fire at Lassen (Janesville) which threatened the town yesterday was reported extinguished tonight.

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