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Forest Service people working for the Talaban?

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Doglips, Jun 30, 2002.

  1. Doglips

    Doglips G&G Newbie

    Ok this is the 2nd forest service person to admit to starting these big fires....who's side are they on?

    Contract Firefighter Charged in Az.
    Part-Time Firefighter Charged With Setting Arizona Wildfire to Earn Money

    The Associated Press

    SHOW LOW, Ariz. June 30 — A massive wildfire that has destroyed more than 400 homes in the mountains of eastern Arizona was sparked in part by a contract firefighter who hoped to make money fighting the flames, prosecutors said Sunday.

    Leonard Gregg, 29, worked part-time as a firefighter for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and was one of the first people called to fight the blaze. According to a statement filed in federal court by a BIA investigator, Gregg said he set the fire so he could get work on a fire crew.

    "This fire was started with a profit motive behind it," U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton said Sunday.

    At a hearing in federal court in Flagstaff on Sunday, a tired-looking Gregg said, "I'm sorry for what I did."

    But U.S. Magistrate Stephen Verkamp cut him off, saying he shouldn't make any admission of guilt at the hearing.

    Gregg was arrested Saturday in connection with two fires set June 18 near the Fort Apache Indian Reservation town of Cibeque. One fire was put out, but the other exploded up steep terrain and quickly spread, threatening the town of Show Low and overrunning two smaller communities just to the west.

    The wildfire merged with another, started by a lost hiker signaling a helicopter, and became the largest in Arizona history.

    By Sunday, the 452,000-acre combined blaze had destroyed at least 423 homes. It was about 35 percent contained by fire lines near Show Low but continued to burn out of control to the west.

    According to the criminal complaint, Gregg said he had set the fires near Cibeque by using matches to set dry grass aflame. Before the fire was reported, he told a woman he had to get home because there was going to be fire call, the complaint said.

    Gregg didn't expect the fire to get so big, the complaint said.

    If convicted of both counts of willfully setting fire to timber or underbursh, Gregg could face 10 years in prison and be fined $500,000.

    Jim Paxon, a fire spokesman, called Sunday's revelation "gut-wrenching."

    "It causes a lot of angst and heartburn and questioning," Paxon said.

    The judge said an attorney would be appointed for Gregg and set a preliminary hearing for Wednesday. Gregg, a resident of the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, is being held in the Coconino County Jail.

    Firefighters continued to fight the blaze Sunday and were focused on keeping the flames from bursting out of steep canyons and into the 600 homes of Forest Lakes, about 40 miles west of Show Low. The fire merged with another blaze, set by a hiker signaling for help, into the largest wildfire in Arizona history.

    In Show Low, residents were back in their homes for the first time since June 22.

    About 25,000 residents were allowed to return to the area Saturday after firefighters were able to hold the blaze to within a half-mile of Show Low's edge. The town of 7,700 was untouched, but in nearby communities, dozens of homes had been burned and blacked by the flames.

    As residents poured back into the area, they found a patchwork of burned homes around the communities of Pinedale, Pinetop-Lakeside and Hon-Dah.

    "I just kept praying and I knew it was going to be all right," said Mary Capuozzo of Pinetop-Lakeside.

    In nearby Linden, residents were still kept from the more heavily damaged subdivision of Timberland Acres, a square mile that had been dotted with log cabins, trailers and ranch-style homes.

    Residents of areas farther west of Show Low, including Heber-Overgaard, where more than 200 homes burned, were still under orders to stay out, among 3,500 to 4,000 people still kept from their homes.

  2. Gregg was acting out of greed, I'm sure. As for the woman in Colorado, that sounded like plain stupidity. Hasn't she ever heard of shredders that could've minced the letter she wanted to destroy?

    Now, back to Gregg. He was a member of the White Mountain Apache or the Ft. Apache tribe. Knowing what the Apache tribe has suffered in this fire it would surprise me if Gregg was ever allowed grace and respect in the eyes of his fellow tribe members.
    He has a rough road to hold whether he goes to prison or, if for some unforeseen reason, he returns (rather attempts to return to) the reservation.

    His family and parents are the ones caught in the middle and those I feel most for in this situation (I'm NOT discounting the hundreds of people who have lost their homes and property). According to tribal traditions and 'laws' they either have to cut Gregg lose or move themselves.

    Although I earlier posted a thread before this fire making comment how easy forest fires could be a terrorist tool, right now I wouldn't say there was any motive or influence from outside terrorist sources. Heck, right now they don't need to....we have our own people doing the dirty deed for them.

  3. wes

    wes G&G Newbie

    Our Federal Firebug here is out on bail,at a half-way house. So far her story has changed several times. Hope she doesn't start the half-way house on fire.