The Esperanza Fire was a wind-driven arson-caused wildfire that was started in a river wash near Cabazon, California, west of Palm Springs, California. By Sunday, October 29, 2006, it had burned over 61 square miles (160 km²) and was 85% contained. On Monday, October 30, 2006, at 6:00 PM PST, the fire was declared fully contained.
Five firefighters were killed defending a vacant, partially-built home that was destroyed by the fire: Jason McKay, Jess McLean, Daniel Hoover-Najera, Mark Loutzenhiser, and Pablo Cerda. In June 2009, Raymond Lee Oyler was sentenced to death for starting the fire.
It started at 1:12 AM PDT on October 26, 2006 and burned an estimated 40,200 acres (163 km²) before containment. It resulted in the deaths of five firefighters, and also destroyed 34 houses and 20 outbuildings, as well as damaging State Route 243 severely enough that motorists required an escort until the damage could be repaired. The damage the fire caused is estimated at more than $9 million, and it is the worst wildfire/firefighting disaster since 1994.