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Sep 29, 2009 12:01 PM by Associated Press

California residents call for probe into fire response

People affected by the massive wildfire that burned about 250 square miles northeast of Los Angeles are calling for a federal investigation into what they say was a poor initial response to the blaze.

Angry residents of the Big Tujunga Canyon area packed a meeting hall Monday night to confront officials. A day earlier, the Los Angeles Times reported that the U.S. Forest Service had underestimated the fire's strength and scaled back firefighting efforts the night before flames started raging out of control.

Los Angeles County Chief Deputy John Tripp says firefighters did the best they could without jeopardizing lives.

The blaze, which started Aug. 26, killed two firefighters and destroyed dozens of homes. Authorities say an arsonist is to blame.

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