29 Sep 2010, 10:45am
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Forest Service releases Station fire transcripts

The agency says the recordings show that it was aggressively responding to the fire. But the data show a formal order for aircraft wasn’t placed.

By Paul Pringle, Los Angeles Times, September 24, 2010 [here]

The U.S. Forest Service said Thursday that dispatch recordings illustrate that the agency aggressively attacked last year’s Station fire with the nearest available planes, but the conversations also show that officials did not place a commander’s orders for air tankers on the critical second morning of the blaze. …

The diverted tankers did not start reaching the Station fire until about 9 a.m., after the flames had jumped a key defense line and began raging out of control. The fire became the largest in Los Angeles County history, burning 250 square miles and destroying scores of homes and other structures. Two county firefighters died while defending their Mt. Gleason camp. …

A federal inspector general is investigating whether laws were broken when the recordings were not turned over last year to a Forest Service review team and The Times.

The investigative arm of Congress is conducting a broader probe of the fire, examining the Forest Service’s decisions and tactics, including whether there were avoidable delays in getting aircraft to the blaze on the morning of Day 2. … [more]



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