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Antonovich presses Forest Service to allow night flights

July 11, 2012
  • Firefighters respond to the 2009 Station Fire near Angeles Crest.
Firefighters respond to the 2009 Station Fire near Angeles… (Times Community…)

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich is the latest elected official to urge the U.S. Forest Service to lift its ban on nighttime aerial firefighting. 

The 2009 Station fire, which scorched areas of the Angeles National Forest, could have been more quickly contained with nighttime air attacks, say Antonovich and other critics of the ban.

"It is imperative that significant structural changes are made before the next major wildfire destroys more of our national forests, personal property or any more lives," Antonovich said in a statement Wednesday.

Last week, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) called the U.S. Forest Service's prolonged review of the ban "beyond negligence."

The Los Angeles County Fire Department recommends allowing nighttime air attacks, tougher bush clearance and using mechanized firefighting equipment.

Antonovich said the county Board of Supervisors is sending a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture asking the Forest Service to adopt those recommendations.

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-- Tiffany Kelly, Times Community News

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