Former Home of Engine 17
You will notice at Chantry Flat several official-looking block buildings. These were built in 1958, the same year the picnic area was built and construction of the check dams began. For many years the complex operated as the station for Angeles National Forest fire engine crew 17, and briefly engine 22 was stationed there alongside 17. It was decommissioned in 2005 following the rainstorms that washed out the road and both engines 17 & 22 were moved down the hill to the Forest Supervisor’s office.
The largest building of the complex is a garage with maintenance yard for fire fighting equipment, and an outbuilding for combustible materials. The office at the front of the garage was nicely remodeled for use as a visitors center, but it has rarely seen use in that capacity. Adams’ Pack Station has stepped up in that role.
Across the driveway from the garage is the firefighters’ barracks. This building has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, and a common area. One of the bedroom sits apart from the other two and is adjacent the kitchen. The original arrangement was to have two bedrooms for the firefighters and for a full-time cook. In later years, as budgets didn’t allow for a cook, and as women were integrated into fire fighting positions, the cook’s room became that of female firefighters.
The two structures up behind the garage are 3-bedroom houses that were built as full-time residences for the captain and the battalion chief, and their families. They are currently rented to Forest Service employees. Please do not disturb the residents.
Another part of the defunct Chantry fire fighting infrastructure is the heliport. Here was stationed a helitack crew. On the hill behind the helitack garage is the original helipad, still surfaced with landing mat. The only use for the building now is to mouse the microwave telephone system that services Chantry Flat and the pack station.
To get to the heliport, views of the San Gabriel Valley, follow the San Olene fire road from the upper parking lot at Chantry Flat and it will bring you right to it. This makes for a nice, leisurely stroll after a big picnic.