U.S. Forest Service officials say recordings of telephone calls show fire managers quickly understood the gravity of a 2009 wildfire that had broken out north of Los Angeles and would eventually scorch 250 square miles.
The Forest Service contends in a statement issued Thursday that the belatedly discovered recordings show fire managers and dispatchers strategizing on how to get resources, especially aircraft, to the new blaze in the Angeles National Forest as multiple blazes burned in the region.
The Forest Service has come under sharp criticism for not stopping the blaze in its early hours.
The now-infamous Station Fire eventually killed two firefighters and destroyed 89 homes as it grew to 160,000 acres, the largest wildfire in Los Angeles County history.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.