Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, along with five Southland congressional representatives, called Thursday for a federal investigation into the firefighting response to the Station Fire, the largest blaze in Los Angeles County history.
The elected officials sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office, requesting that the office perform "a full and complete accounting of the events surrounding the response to the Station Fire Incident from its inception on August 26, 2009, until its containment on October 16, 2009."
The request came on the heels of this week's discovery of taped calls from a U.S. Forest Service call center from the time the fire broke out.
"Both the Forest Service and Angeles County Fire Department have concluded reviews of the fire and the response from both of these agencies," the elected officials wrote in their letter to the GAO. "However, we have learned this week that critical Forest Service dispatch recordings from the start of the fire were withheld from federal review teams.
"This casts a dark cloud over the findings of the review panel and immediately warrants an independent review of the Station Fire response. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack have indicated their support for such a review."
In addition to Boxer and Feinstein, the letter was signed with Reps. David Dreier, R-San Dimas; Buck McKeon, R-Santa Clarita; Adam Schiff, D- Pasadena; Brad Sherman, D-Sherman Oaks; and Judy Chu, D-El Monte.
Critics of the early firefighting effort have said the initial response to the Station Fire was muted, allowing the blaze to grow out of control. It grew to become the largest fire in the history of the Angeles National Forest and Los Angeles County.