Luckily for firefighters, Nilsen Company forklift operator Josh Anaya was there to help them hop the fence. Photos: Andrew Goff.

A little fire in Eureka’s Balloon Track might have gotten a lot bigger this afternoon, were it not for the intervention of heavy equipment and a private citizen who knows how to use it.

About 20 minutes ago, someone called 911 to report a column of black smoke rising into the air somewhere in the Balloon Track. The caller thought it was behind Nilsen Company, the big downtown feed store near the intersection of Fourth and Broadway.

Humboldt Bay Fire personnel responded to the scene and located the smoke, but found that there was no easy way to get into the Balloon Track property from Nilsen’s parking lot.

That’s when Anaya stepped in and lifted the firefighters to glory. 

Up and over, the firefighters continued on foot to the small spot fire, which was apparently burning in an old trellis, and attacked it with their handheld equipment. Eventually their colleagues from Engine 8113 found a way to pilot their rig into the wilds of the track, and the fire stood no chance.

“Anything to make their job easier,” Anaya said.

The Outpost salutes Josh Anaya, Nilsen Co. and forklift operators everywhere.