GAO agrees to investigate Station Fire

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Los Angeles County fire fighters Pat Dunham (L) and Steve Bermau look on as the out of control Station Fire threatens a home on near Ocean View Drive in the La Canada Flintridge foothills above Los Angeles on August 29, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.

The federal government will investigate last year’s deadly Station Fire. The audit comes at the urging of Southern California lawmakers.

The Government Accountability Office has agreed to a full investigation of the Station Fire, from its start on August 26 until fire crews contained it in mid-October of last year.

The Station Fire killed two firefighters and destroyed dozens of homes. The U.S. Forest Service has attracted criticism for not providing enough personnel or air support during the first critical hours of the fire.

A bipartisan group of congressmen – Burbank’s Adam Schiff, Santa Clarita’s Buck McKeon and San Dimas’ David Dreier – have pushed the GAO to look into reports that Forest Service recordings from the start of the fire were never shown to federal investigators. It will take at least three months before the GAO can begin its investigation.

Congressmen Schiff, McKeon and Dreier had planned a hearing on the matter last month in Pasadena, but they were called back to Washington for late votes.

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