Sacramento Bee uncovers Forest Service’s cover-up of Moonlight fire lookout’s alleged marijuana use

The Moonlight fire was the U.S. Forest Service’s worst nightmare.

For two weeks in September 2007 it raged like a fire-breathing dragon across 65,000 acres in Plumas and Lassen counties, devouring everything in its path, including 46,000 acres of lush national forest.

But there is an additional troubling dimension to this catastrophe, one that, like the fire itself, still haunts the Forest Service. From the start, there was a recognition of potential legal complications if it became known that a Forest Service patrol officer claimed another agency employee may have been smoking marijuana while he manned the lookout tower closest to the site where the fire started.


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