By Mary O’KEEFE
Congressman Adam Schiff will moderate a Station Fire meeting with representatives of the U.S. Forest Service and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) this morning from 10:30 a.m. to noon.
In the fall of 2010 the GAO accepted the request by several California senators and representatives to investigate the Station Fire from its inception on Aug. 26, 2009 to its containment on Oct. 16.
“Members of the foothill communities have a close relationship with the Angeles National Forest – its natural beauty is a backdrop to our cities, playground for our children, and, on occasion, the genesis of a threat to our homes. Fires like the Station Fire claim lives, homes, landscapes, wildlife and trails, and can be followed be equally devastating mudslides. This is why learning to live well and safely with our neighboring Forest is of vital interest to me and my constituents,” Schiff said.
In addition to the GAO representative, the chief of fire and aviation for the Forest Service will also be at the meeting.
In October of last year a panel that included U.S. representatives Schiff, David Dreier and Buck McKeon was conducted in Pasadena. At that meeting both active and retired firefighters spoke about the first few hours of the Station Fire and what equipment, specifically air support, was ordered to help fight the blaze.
At the fire’s end two Los Angeles County firefighters lost their lives, 250 square miles were devastated and many homes and businesses were destroyed.
The GAO began their official investigation into the Station Fire in January. The office has been soliciting information from emergency responders as well as residents with knowledge and opinions of the way the fire agencies fought the Station Fire. Many people have contacted Schiff’s office with information and supplying photos of the fire.
Schiff will moderate today’s meeting. Speakers will include Tom Harbour, director of Fire and Aviation, U.S. Forest Service and Stephen Gaty, assistant director, GAO, Natural Resources Environmental Team.
The meeting is at the Altadena Library, 600 East Mariposa St., 91001.