The Dalton Hotshot crew was founded in 1953. Since the Crew's inception, Dalton has had a long history and progressive tradition of employing people from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
The first crews were primarily composed entirely of Native Americans from New Mexico. Today, the crew consists of people from the many different cultural backgrounds that make up the surrounding Southern California area, along with others from throughout the United States.
Originally, it was based in the San Dimas Experimental Forest. In 1969, ground was broken at the site of the crew's present barracks at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains in Glendora, California. Today, these barracks that once sat on an empty plain, now lie at the base of Glendora's urban interface. From this position, the Dalton Hotshots have easy access to freeway systems, major airports and two nearby National Forests.
The contract for the Dalton Barracks was awarded March 13, 1969 at a cost of $182,000. at 7,000 square feet, it can comfortably accommodate up to twenty people. It contains a crew lounge, training facility, hotshot office and an engine office. Our facility also affords crew members an opportunity to enhance their physical conditioning through the use of our volleyball and basketball courts, along with an extensive weight training room.
Dalton Canyon, named after Henry Dalton who was born in England in 1803 and later came to southern California in 1843, became an ambitious rancher and landowner. The station now sits at the junction of Little and Big Dalton Canyons. The crews' emblem depicts a Nelson Desert Bighorn. The Bighorn roams freely in the Sheep Mountain Wilderness on the Angeles National Forest.
After serving a short time as Dalton Hotshot Superintendent in 1953, Chuck Culver was succeeded by Jay Shoemaker, Robert Caffey, Jim Clark, Arnold Alum, Chuck Hartley, John Chackerian, Lewis P. Yazzie and Robert J. Serrato.
Throughout Dalton's rich history of pride and tradition, there is a positive value that has been passed on from crew to crew. Passed on is a great tradition of self worth, integrity and the endeavor for excellence. It is this reward that is Dalton's most valued piece of history and it is those individuals who have had the responsibility to lead, that have carried on this valuable tradition.