Thursday, December 3, 2009

Esperanza Fire USDA OIG investigation

Today, more than three years after the Esperanza Fire of October 2006, the U.S Department of Agriculture's Office of Inspector General has released its investigation of the fire, the conduct of personnel and circumstances of the deaths of five U.S. Forest Service firefighters — Captain Mark Loutzenhiser, Fire Engine Operator Jess McClean, Assistant Fire Engine Operator Jason McKay and firefighters Daniel Hoover-Najera, and Pablo Cerda.

The OIG conclusion expressed in its transmittal letter to Agricultural Secretary Vilasak and Congression officials simply states "OIG investigative findings are consistent with the primary findings of the Forest Service and Cal Fire as presented in the Serious Accident Investigation Team report [of June 2007]. Our investigation raised no issues related to potential misconduct or unauthorized actions by FS personnel involved in the Esperanza Fire."

I'll have more details from the report and possible reactions later.

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