Laguna Hotshots History

Cleveland NF 2016 to Past

link to an image of a firefighter in  a yellow shirt and black helmet looking pensive with a chainsaw wedge in his gloved hands


The Laguna Hotshot name was first used in the 1950's when the Descanso Ranger District financed a forest crew and based them at Camp Ole on Mount Laguna. Camp Ole was previously a CCC camp and had facilities for housing the crew and was close to areas of work. The crew was around for 4 years until funding became unavailable and the crew was disbanded. The following year the El Cariso Hotshots were founded on the Trabuco Ranger District.


The Laguna Hotshots were once again established and based at Camp Ole. This became the second Hotshot Crew on the Cleveland National Forest. The Base at camp Ole was again used because it was the only place on the district that had housing, offices, and a space to accomodate a 20 person Hotshot Crew. The crew shared an office with the Laguna Engine Crew and brought in an old dilapidated travel trailer to use as a tool room. The barracks and office were all in the same building and were from the CCC days.

Kyle Rayon, wife of 1974 crewmember Howard Rayon, designed the Oak Tree emblem of the Laguna Hotshots logo. The Oak Tree was used to reflect the Cleveland National Forest and specifically the Descanso Ranger District.

Due to the poor conditions of the old facilities at Camp Ole The Laguna Hotshots moved to the Descanso Compound with the Descanso Engine Crews in the town of Descanso.


the Laguna Hotshots celebrated their 30th Anniversary. To this day, the Laguna Hotshots still carry on the crew colors and traditions.

Crew Superintendents

Name Dates
Dennis Baldridge 2003

Crew Captains

Name Dates
Jim Huston 2003
Bill Kuche 2003

Image of an embroidered patch depicting a green tree on a beige background

Laguna Hotshots established 1974