Out Loud: Mountain Fire’s Investigation Report …

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If you read the front-page story about the Mountain Fire two weeks ago, you must have seen where you can access Cal Fire’s Investigation Report online — all 251 pages.

In early February, Cal Fire Information Officer Daniel Berlant said the investigation was progressing but not complete. Then six weeks ago, Cal Fire said the report was complete and released it to the TC. But what you saw online was all Cal Fire was willing to release of the completed report.

After numerous calls and emails to determine why the report’s important information — information the public has a right to know — was redacted, we learn that the report is not, in fact, complete, despite being told it is. Yet another step is involved. Will that step also be redacted?

Come on, Cal Fire, when Cal Fire Electrician Greg Ezquerro signed off his report Aug. 28, 2013, Capt. David LaClair on Sept. 24, 2013, and Capt. Wayne Howerton on Nov. 7, 2013, and you say in early February of this year that the investigation is progressing but not complete, then you issue a nearly worthless report in May, what is really going on?

I think you’re stalling because you’re afraid of something and this something the public also is entitled to know.

Is there a possibility that fear stems from the $30 million a Plumas County judge hit Cal Fire with in early February for reprehensible conduct at trial in another fire investigation? Is it fear of a powerful and wealthy landowner, in the case of our fire, retaliating? What is the big secret you’re not telling us?

Becky Clark,
Editor

 

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