Firefighters on the Slide Fire discover historic site

 cabin site
Firefighter Leo Holley, who discovered the cabin site. USFS photo.

Firefighters from the Coronado National Forest working on the Slide Fire near Sedona, Arizona discovered the almost imperceptible remains of a historic log cabin. Leo Holley made the initial find and he worked with several other firefighters to protect the site from being consumed in the fire, constructing fireline and later placing aluminum fire shelter material over the area.

Mr. Holley first noticed that there were logs laying at right angles and continued to examine clues until he decided it was probably a cabin site.

Below is an excerpt from an article in the LA Times (which has more photos of the firefighters and the site):

“What is remarkable is that archaeological remains of the cabin were almost imperceptible,” [Jeremy Haines, a U.S. Forest Service archaeologist] said. “Forest Service archaeologists work … to protect these special places, and Leo’s discovery demonstrates how much we depend on firefighters to help us do this job.”

The cabin probably belonged to someone who was pushing the margins of habitable space because all the prime land is farther south, Haines said.

The cabin was probably destroyed years ago by a wildfire. The cabin was probably no more than 150 square feet. The firefighting crew also found a collapsed mound of rocks, which may have been the chimney.

Cabin site protected from the fire
Cabin site protected from the fire by fire shelter material. USFS photo.

The Slide Fire has burned 21,217 acres and the incident management team is calling it 75 percent contained.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.