A Hot Time In The Old Town

A Hot Time In The Old Town

Topanga Canyon Historical Society Quarterly Potluck Event:

We will turn a Station 69 hook and ladder firetruck into a time machine as we take an historical look at fire use and fighting from the Native Americans to recent history. The Topanga Historical Society welcomes L.A. County Fire Captain, Ret., Dave Boucher to the upcoming quarterly meeting Wednesday, July 20 at the Topanga Community House. Boucher is also the department’s official historian, a position created for him after the publication of this book, Ride the Devil Wind in 1991.

Boucher began his career as a volunteer fire-fighter in 1954, served in Korea, and on his return became a professional when he joined the Pasadena Fire Department. Eight years later he found his way to the LA County Fire Department where he served until he retired in 1995.

Throughout the decades, fires have challenged and taught firefighter’s effective ways to protect our canyons. Boucher is struck by the uniqueness of Topanga. Most canyons burn up both sides, but because of our topography, our fires seem to occupy just one side of the canyon – a relief to firefighters. As an historian, he will present a time-line of major fires since the 1960’s in the county and innovations in equipment and strategy for fighting them. Did you know that LA County first developed the drop-tank helicopter now used nationwide?

Bucher stays active as the official historian by giving talks and writing for two newsletters each month.

But before we hear from Boucher, our own board member, Eric Dugdale, will talk about the very early days. 6,000 years before the Egyptians built the Pyramids, First Americans related to the Chumash were living in our Canyon, and dealing with fire. Controlled burns let them grow the grasses they liked, and protected the Oaks, an important source of food. Fire heated their sweat lodges, steam bent the planks when building their canoes. Smoke signals communicated across hilltops at Solstice. Burning handfuls of sage is still important in ceremonies of purification.

Pease join us at the Topanga Community House,1440 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., for the Topanga Historical Society quarterly program, Wednesday, July 20 for this informative talk. The program is open to all (adults & kids) and free of charge. Bring your best dish to share with our now famous pot-luck at 7 PM.  There will be organic decaf coffee, tea, & lemon water.  The THS will provide dinnerware and serving utensils for your dish. The program starts at 8 PM. At the end a collection will be taken to help defray the fee for parking and clean up personal The updated Topanga Story will be available for purchase and participants will have an opportunity to become, if not already, Topanga Historical Society members for $20 individual or $30 for a family.

Posted on: July 11, 2016Todd Kliewer
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