Town Crier to request documents from Cal Fire

Still no call-backs from any public officials with information as to nature of the “new evidence” that was cited by the DOJ/U.S. Attorney’s office as the reason for dismissing the federal civil lawsuit stemming from the 2013 Mountain Fire. 

James Nowlin, one of the defendants in the dismissed lawsuit, recently came forward to the Town Crier with his explanation of that new evidence (see Town Crier issue of Aug. 1, 2019). Nowlin’s explanation was that, had the federal lawsuit continued, two USFS firefighters, who were first on the scene, would be called to testify that the fire did not start at the electric junction box as the Cal Fire investigators’ report determined. Even though the Town Crier has made further inquiries, neither defense counsel nor public officials have yet confirmed that explanation.

The Town Crier has already served a Freedom of Information Act request on the DOJ/U.S. Attorney’s office seeking documents relating to the “new evidence,” and will be serving a California Public Records Act request on Cal Fire seeking similar documents.

The Mountain Fire caused parts of the hill to evacuate in July 2013, including the town of Idyllwild. It cost millions of U.S. Forest Service (USFS) dollars for fire suppression and burned thousands of acres of national forest lands.