2006 Esperanza Fire 16 Year Anniversary

Sixteen years ago today at 7:57am, the word came off the mountain of trapped firefighters at the Esperanza Fire. Soon thereafter on that eventful October 26, 2006, date, we learned that five valiant USFS San Bernardino National Forest Engine 57 firefighters were overrun by fire at 15400 Gorgonio View Drive south of Banning, CA. This is the 16th anniversary of the deaths and a date we will always remember and respect in honor of our firefighter brothers.

The fire took the lives of USFS Captain Mark Loutzenhiser, 43, Idyllwild, CA: Fire Engine Operator Jess “Gus” McLean, 27, Beaumont, CA: Assistant Fire Engine Operator Jason McKay, 27, Apple Valley, CA; Firefighter Pablo Cerda, 23, Fountain Valley, CA: and Firefighter Daniel Hoover-Najera, 20, San Jacinto, CA. The firefighters died while defending a house.

I hope that all readers hold in their minds a radio message reminding of the tragedy and hold a personal or group moment of silence in honor of Lotzy, Gus, Jason, Pablo and Danny. We cannot bring them back, but we can sure honor and respect them. They will always in our thoughts and prayers.

Thank you very much.


Chief thanks for posting this, today is always tough for me those men were my friends.


For those who were not able to attend the memorial, the picture of the boot with the men’s names was actually a huge backdrop, not sure of the exact size, but could have easily been 30 by 50 feet.


Thank You for posting this solemn reminder of those that we lost, I recall a few memories working with Lotzy, he being on VG and my time on DR, it is important for us to always remember…always…I have no others words but to say I pray peace for their families and co-workers…JK…


Such a solemn memory. We staged with BDF Engine 57 as they initially went down Wonderview Rd. then Gorgonio View rd. I tried to access down gorgonio view in my Type Engine and was rubbing rocks (a low rock wall). Was above Gorgonio View when the area ignited. Shortly thereafter I promoted to Pine Cove and the community did a great job remembering and honoring the BDF firefighters that were lost.