Modjeska and Silverado Canyons and the 2007 Santiago Fire


Canyon resident

Brian Frick


OH 4143  
Narrator Brian Frick
Interviewer Volker Janssen
Date June 7, 2008
Language English
Location Modjeska Canyon, Orange County, California
Project 2007 Santiago Fire
Format(s) Audio, Video
Other  Field Notes
Abstract An oral history with animal control officer Brian Frick, a live-time Orange County resident. This interview was conducted for the Center for Oral and Public History and Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary about the Santiago Fire in Modjeska Canyon in October 2007. The purpose of this interview was to gather information about Frick's background prior to his move to Modjeska, his work as animal control officer in the canyons, his relationship to the rural community of Modjeska and his experiences during the Santiago Fire. The interview pays particular attention to his childhood in Orange, quaint town life in Los Alamitos, his early interest in sports and animals; raising rabbits as pets quaint town life in Los Alamitos; the purchase of his first horse; passion for the job; darting a mountain lion out of a tree; the physical demands of the job; the emotional demands of the job; finding the place in Modjeska and building his own home; becoming a community member: "newcomers leave the lights on;" canyon as the opposite of suburban life, the canyon people's reluctance to leave and eagerness to support each other; fire safety and preparing animals; evacuation during the Chino fire; Animal control and its cooperation with the Fire Authority; the need for property maintenance and the dangers of flash fuels; the importance of the Santa Ana winds; concerns with development: traffic, street safety, and the driving force of money; Santiago Fire: high expectations of a fire; staging horses at the mouth of Silverado Canyon; choosing belongings for evacuation; staying behind in the canyon; jumped by the fire; protecting a neighbor's home with a garden hose; capturing Llamas, horses, Texas Longhorns, and a surviving dog; wildlife behavior during the blaze, and its search for food; reunion and devastation; lessons from the fire: don't evacuate.
Video Parts 1-3 (watch online - coming soon!)
Audio Part 1 (download.mp3)
Part 2 (download.mp3)

This project is made possible, in part, by a grant from the California Council for the Humanities. The Council is an independent non-profit organization and a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information on the Council, visit www.calhum.org.