BEND, Ore. (AP) — A Forest Service leader says it was "human error" when a dispatcher disregarded a caller who reported a wisp of smoke in early September that turned into the Pole Creek fire near Sisters.
The Bend Bulletin reports (http://bit.ly/W1ZpIW ) a couple that has a record of spotting fires early called about 6:30 a.m. to report the blaze.
But it says firefighters didn't mobilize to fight it until nearly three hours later, after a lookout spotted it.
The fire spread to 40 square miles, destroyed four cars at a trailhead and for weeks spread morning smoke in Central Oregon that often reached unhealthy levels. Fighting it cost $18 million.
Deschutes National Forest Supervisor John Allen says the call came at the end of a shift and other fire incidents appeared more urgent.