Antonovich: Forest Service justifying failure on Station Fire

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Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich blasted a U.S. Forest Service analysis of its response to the Station Fire, arguing the service made major missteps in its early efforts to combat the blaze.

The report, released last week, stated officials acted prudently and in accordance with firefighting guidelines in battling the largest fire in county history.

The agency should have made early use of firefighting aircraft, despite its conclusions that such an approach would have been ineffective, the supervisor said:

“The Forest Service conclusion that aircraft use in the Station Fire’s earliest stage would have been ineffective is a false assertion to justify their failure.  Our Los Angeles County firefighting aircraft sat on the tarmac waiting to be called into action, while the Angeles National Forest burned.  Had the county’s fire air support been fully activated by the Forest Service while the fire was still manageable, it would not have spread into a 160,000+ acre disaster taking the lives of two firefighters and destroying over 100 homes and structures.”

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Written by Zain Shauk

November 16, 2009 at 8:57 am

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