Press release from the Arcata Fire District:
At just after 11 pm last night, Arcata Fire District was notified of a slash pile burning in the log deck at the 4300 block of West End Road. The report was for smoke coming from a 100 by 50 foot pile of log strippings, with no threat to the log deck or structures. Firefighters, along with employees of the business worked tirelessly through the night to quell the flames using over 20,000 gallons of water and heavy equipment. Water was having minimal impact and it was decided that the equipment would tear the fire apart and continuous application of water was making the smoke worse.
As of this morning at 8 am, the fire continues to burn resulting in a large amount of lingering smoke and occasional flames. Firefighters, Air Quality Official and the business owner determined that the best course of action is to allow the pile to burn. Although firefighters are no longer at the scene, the slash pile is being monitored, attempts to eliminate the burning slash with heavy equipment continues, and heavy smoke in the area will likely extend throughout the day.
Arcata Fire District would like to remind everyone that although this fire is one of a few fires in recent weeks that has been allowed to burn out, the decision to let the fire burn itself out is not taken lightly. Effectiveness of resources, including manpower, apparatus, water use and air quality are all considered when determining if a fire is allowed to burn out.