LOS ANGELES (AP) — Federal investigators say concerns over firefighting costs slowed the U.S. Forest Service’s initial response to last year’s deadly 250-square-mile Southern California wildfire that killed two firefighters and destroyed 89 homes.

A review by the Agriculture Department, which runs the Forest Service, cites a letter before the Station Fire instructing managers to limit requests for crews, aircraft and equipment from state and local agencies.

Forest Service officials have insisted cost concerns never impeded the response.

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The Los Angeles Times says the federal review shows the Forest Service decided to concentrate on protecting homes and the communications towers and observatory on Mt. Wilson rather than staging a sustained direct assault on the backcountry front spreading into Angeles National Forest.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (2)
  1. Blanche says:

    Always blaming Fire response
    Responsibility starts with Home Owner Brush Clearance

  2. John says:

    Brush clearance was done by homeowners in Big T. Unfortunately the Forest Service did their own brush cleanup but instead of removing the brush and branches they piled it in the already cleared areas of the homeowners, ran over it with a bulldozer and left it there.

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