Cal Fire has been busy dealing with a myriad of small fires these last few days. On Friday, the first of four fires in the Martin’s Ferry Bridge area of northeastern Humboldt, popped up. Two started that afternoon and two late Saturday night. Fortunately the fires were extinguished before any of them exceeded 1 acre. The fires were determined to be arson and Cal Fire Battalion Chief Jeremy Monroe, who is acting as the agency’s public information officer is concerned that there might be more outbreaks.
He said, “That area has historically had issues with arson.” He hopes that his agency is able to find the individual(s) concerned because it takes “a lot of time” to reach and mount a fire fighting operation in that area and he worries about how much damage could be done.
There have been two small fires in Southern Humboldt over the weekend. The first, on Saturday was on Conklin Creek Road in Petrolia. According to Dan Gebhart, local resident and member of the local VFD, “Petrolia Volunteer Fire Department sent 2 engines, a water tender, and the chief’s command unit. We had approximately 10 to 12 firefighters. Cal Fire responded with 4 or 5 engines, 2 High Rock con crews, a helicopter, bulldozer and 2 bombers. PVFD got a call about 3:40PM and was fully released from the scene around 9:30PM. The fire was fully contained between 9 and 9:30PM.”
Monroe, the Cal Fire Battalion chief, said the Petrolia fire was about 7 acres and occurred near a roadway. It, he said, appears to be the result of “utilizing some sort of explosive which could have ignited the brush.” But at this time they are still investigating who and what is responsible.
The second was in Benbow, not far from Reggae on the River. Apparently, someone was under the impression that their charcoal briquets were cold and dumped them into grass. They were not. They ignited a fire in the Benbow State Park Overflow Campground. There is an approximately 4 acre fire. Air support and ground crew responded but the air support was turned back as the fire was quickly brought under control. Volunteer Fire Departments as well as Cal Fire responded. Crews will be checking the area today and tomorrow to make sure it is under control.