Atlantic City, USA – A National Guard pilot who dropped a flare too low on aday when conditions were bone-dry was to blame for the massive Pinelands firethat destroyed more than 17,000 acres in May, the Air Force announced today.
The report by a military accident review board found plenty of blame to goaround. Investigators determined that information about the tinder-dryconditions in the scrub pines surrounding the Warren Grove Gunnery Range inLittle Egg Harbor Township had not been adequately communicated to all thoseinvolved.
The May 15 fire destroyed four homes in two senior citizen housingdevelopments, and damaged 37 others. Although 6,000 people were chased fromtheir homes, only two serious injuries were reported.
The report did not contain recommendations on how to avoid similar mishaps inthe future and did not say whether anyone had or would be disciplined. ANational Guard spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.