The wildly successful M*A*S*H captured the hearts of the audience in a way that few TV shows manage to do. To this day, old and young viewers alike connect to M*A*S*H and its ensemble of characters.
However, with a production as big as M*A*S*H, you can’t always expect things to run smoothly. This became quite notable when a wildfire devastated the M*A*S*H set.
In the episode Goodbye, Farewell, Amen, the footage of the fire that devastates the 4077 is very real. The Malibu ranch where they filmed was engulfed in the flames of the fire. Kellye Nakahara, who played Nurse Kellye, told The Hollywood Reporter of the incident.
While M*A*S*H was filming, the fire marshall saw the flames and gave the cast and crew ten minutes to wrap and evacuate. It was a mere ten minutes after everyone evacuated that the fire destroyed the set.
The Crazy Way the Crew Restored the Set
M*A*S*H Producers initially decided that the fire on set would be incorporated into the movie by writing a fire into the plot. But even with the fire plot added, they still needed external shots of the surrounding landscapes from before the fire.
While the solution sounds straight out of a cartoon, crews had to spray the mountains green, then go back and return them to their charred state.
This isn’t the last time the region encountered a wildfire scare. Many feared that the 2018 Woolsey fire, which devastated nearly 100,000 acres of land, destroyed what remains of the set, including the iconic signposts and markers.
Luckily, it was later revealed that much of the area survived the fire. Today, you can visit the site where mash was filmed and even see the iconic signpost for yourself.
‘M*A*S*H’, Decades Later
Decades after its finale, ‘M*A*S*H’ still has a significant cultural impact. The show, which ended in 1983, is still watched and discussed by many. There’s a wide variety of reasons why ‘M*A*S*H‘ has retained such relevance.
Perhaps it’s the relatable and flawed characters. Perhaps it’s the show’s ability to defy genre, oscillating between the deeply humorous and the deeply touching.
M*A*S*H‘s success is at least partially due to the writing. In fact, in 2013, the writers guild of America ranked M*A*S*H as the fifth best-written tv show ever. Whatever the reason for its success, the show is one of the highest-rated productions of all time, and its imprint on its viewers is unlikely to be forgotten any time soon.