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By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Nadin Abbott

April 26, 2014 (Mount Laguna) – Cal Fire and the federal government have not released reports on the official cause of the Chariot Fire, which scorched over 7,000 acres and destroyed more than 100 buildings including  a historic lodge and the century-old Al Bahr Shrine Camp.  Now attorney John Fiske, who represents  fire victims, says he has filed a claim against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

“We’ve hired experts and we’ve done an investigation,” Fiske told ECM news partner 10 News. The results indicate that a BLM Jeep driven by a BLM driver started the fire in the desert, which swiftly engulfed Mount Laguna.

Neither the BLM nor Cal Fire responded to calls or e-mails, 10 News reported.

Don Wierman  of the Al Bahr Shrine Camp, which has not been able to rebuild, concluded, “Every cabin was filled with memories –and every cabin is gone.”

Fiske has said that if officials don’t respond to his claim, he will file a lawsuit.

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Did the jeep get the warranty service?

I drove the same jeep for the BLM for several years before I retired. There was a warranty service notice to get it fixed a couple of years ago due to a fire hazard potential from brush getting caught under the skid plate. They replaced it with something else to mitigate the fire hazard. I'm wondering if the jeep had the warranty service done since this could very well have started the fire. The attorneys should find out if the vehicle had the warranty service done.

Was it a Jeep?

The Border Patrol has many off road capable vehicles from sandrails to ATVs and four wheel drive trucks. Horse and foot patrols too. Was the fire caused by a Jeep, a vehicle produced by Chrysler that is owned by Fiat or a Ford, Chevy, or Dodge?