Report Criticizes Infighting Among Fire Agencies Battling Massive NorCal Blaze
Infighting among fire leaders from multiple agencies during the largest wildfire in California modern history created a tense environment that trickled down to ground troops and might have endangered the lives of firefighters, according to a report released Friday.
The report, compiled by staff from the U.S. Forest Service, Cal Fire and the L.A. City Fire Department, focuses on an Aug. 19 incident in which a group of firefighters from L.A. and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection almost died when they became surrounded by flames from the Mendocino Complex fire.
The firefighters were working north of the Snow Mountain Wilderness, attempting to build a fire line to try to keep the Mendocino Complex fire from charging through that portion of the forest and into a creek bed before reaching homes.
At the time, several firefighters on the ground expressed concern that there was no clear plan for how they would build the fire line. The fire’s front was drawing nearer, and the majority of the firefighters assigned to the job believed they didn’t know what they were supposed to do.
Read the full story at LATimes.com.