15 instructors at CAL FIRE’s Ione academy fired or disciplined

Orville Fleming
Orville Fleming

The investigation into the murder of the girlfriend of a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection instructor who worked at the state’s fire academy has resulted in a series of dominoes falling. Two firefighters have been fired, the resignation of a third was accepted, and 13 others will be disciplined. Of the 16 firefighters, 15 were instructors at the academy and the other worked in the field.

Battalion Chief Orville Fleming was found and arrested in October after a 16-day manhunt. An instructor at the agency’s training academy at Ione, California, the 55-year old BC had been charged in the May 1 stabbing death of 26-year old Sarah Jane Douglas, his live-in girlfriend.

Mr. Fleming’s wife had said he and other firefighters had engaged in sex with prostitutes at the academy and said she had seen a tape of such activities. However investigators were not able to find any evidence of the tape.

After the murder Mr. Fleming ditched his CAL FIRE truck and disappeared but was found 16 days later when he left his hideout near his home and boarded a bus to obtain food.

More details are at the Sacramento Bee.

UPDATE: In July, 2015, Mr. Fleming was found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to 16 years to life in prison.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Dick.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

2 thoughts on “15 instructors at CAL FIRE’s Ione academy fired or disciplined”

  1. Add this to the Sierra Pacific Investigation scandal, and for the 99.9% of CDF’s staff that are good people it’s probably not a fun place to claim as an employer right now.

    Too bad.

  2. WOW

    Now there is a black eye…..especially for “instructor cadre” upholding “standards.”

    Just like the Navy and the 1990’s Tailhook incident…CalFire has its own!!

    More openings YAAAYYY win win


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