"If you build it, we will burn it’ | VailDaily.com

"If you build it, we will burn it’

Daily file photoConstruction workers work on the frame of the new Two Elk lodge, which was rebuilt, opening in December 1999. Ironically, while ELF torched the lodge in retaliation for Vail Resort's "environmental destruction," to rebuild the lodge Vail Resorts had to obtain more lumber from Canada - and they built a larger lodge.

An arson fire in early August has all the markings of the Earth Liberation front, which also claimed to have started the blaze that burned Vail’s Two Elk lodge to the ground in 1998.

A banner reading “If you build it, we will burn it,” with the initials E.L.F., was found at the California site – 206-unit condominium, part of a 1,500-housing complex known as La Jolla Crossroads in University City, near San Diego. Damage has been estimated at $50 million.

An e-mail sent to The San Diego Union-Tribune said the banner “is a legitimate claim of responsibility by the Earth Liberation Front.”

“By virtue of it being a development under construction, and one that was in the most critical stage as far as being susceptible to fire, it shows all the hallmarks of being an ELF action,” Rod Coronado, who identifies himself as an ELF spokesman, told the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Gary Frey, a 42-year-old Marine, who was among the hundreds evacuated from the adjacent Villas de Renaissance project, looked at the complex remains yesterday with his wife, Priscilla, and children, Andrew, 4, and Rachel, 6.

“Terrorism is terrorism,” Frey said. “It’s a terrorist act pure and simple in my mind. … Don’t accept it. You can’t yield to their strong-arming.

The last fire for which ELF has taken responsibility, according to its Web site, was in June in Washington Township, Mich., about 20 miles north of Detroit. The blaze destroyed two large homes under construction in a growing subdivision.

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