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.
In the telephone exchanges, dispatchers and firefighters become alarmed at the overnight spread of the flames in the Angeles National Forest and note that the commander has asked that the tankers and other aircraft arrive by 7 a.m.
Shortly after midnight, however, dispatchers say that the Forest Service will divert tankers from a nearby fire in the morning, instead of ordering them through a regional operations center. “We’re going to be assigning two air tankers from [the] fire over there,” a dispatcher says. Continue reading Forest Service releases Station fire transcripts→
LOS ANGELES — With the massive wildfire burning north of Los Angeles more than half contained, hand crews were working Sunday to keep the fire’s eastern flank from crossing a rural mountain highway, a U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman said. The fire, which started Aug. 26, has killed two firefighters, blackened nearly 246 square miles of the Angeles National Forest and destroyed at least 76 homes. Fire agencies so far have spent $43.5 million fighting the blaze. Authorities on Sunday were trying to determine who set the deadly fire. Continue reading Massive California Wildfire More Than Half Contained→
L.A. County Coroner’s officials have confirmed that two firefighters were killed when their vehicle overturned in the Angeles National Forest, south of Acton, where fire crews anxiously worked to contain the monstrous Station fire. The 35,000-acre fire threatened over 10,000 homes, 500 commercial properties and 2,000 other structures and rained ash on cars as far away as downtown Los Angeles on Sunday, spreading in all directions in hot, dry conditions. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger urged those in the fire’s path to listen to authorities and get out.