The Times podcast: Another scandal for L.A. Fire Department

A helicopter drops water onto a wildfire
Firefighters battle the Palisades fire last May.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Last May, the Palisades fire ripped through the Santa Monica Mountains. About 1,000 people were put under mandatory evacuation orders, and about 500 homes were threatened by the flames. As that emergency was unfolding, the guy in charge of the Los Angeles Fire Department’s operations center overseeing the fire was allegedly intoxicated. That’s according to an investigation commissioned by city officials.


Today, we talk about what came next.

Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: L.A. Times investigative reporter Paul Pringle, and retired Los Angeles Fire Department Assistant Chief Patrick Butler

More reading:

LAFD chief deputy allegedly drunk during a major fire gets no discipline, $1.4-million payout

LAFD received complaints that a top official was drunk on duty. Some say it was covered up

Raging Palisades fire is a dangerous warning of California’s new year-round fire reality

About The Times

“The Times” is made by columnist Gustavo Arellano, senior producers Denise Guerra, Shannon Lin and Kasia Broussalian and producers Ashlea Brown and Angel Carreras. Our engineer is Mario Diaz. Our editor is Kinsee Morlan. Our executive producers are Jazmín Aguilera and Shani O. Hilton. Our theme song was composed by Andrew Eapen.