Photo: Calfire HUU.


Press release from the Calfire Humboldt-Del Norte Unit:

On September 13th, 2021, at approximately 9:30 PM, the CAL FIRE Humboldt – Del Norte Unit Emergency Command Center (ECC) received a report of a vegetation fire burning near mile marker 12 along northbound Highway 101 outside of Garberville. The fire burned approximately two and one-quarter acres of grass and brush, damaged one outbuilding, threatened structures, spotted across Alderpoint Road into Bear Canyon, and required the closure of Alderpoint Road.

Due to terrain and visibility the fire was initially reported to involve a quarter-acre of grass and moving into timber. As additional resources arrived, the structure threat was identified and additional resources were requested to contain the fire. Firefighters from Briceland Volunteer Fire, Miranda Fire, Garberville Fire, Redway Fire, Fruitland Ridge Fire, and Rio Dell Fire departments assisted CAL FIRE with controlling the fire. Deputies from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office assisted with notifying residents of potential evacuations.

CHP officers at scene identified a person of interest in the cause of the fire and a CAL FIRE peace officer was requested to the scene. Upon investigation, it was determined an adult male, Michael Russell, was responsible for causing the fire. Russell was taken into custody.

Russell was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for:

• PC 452(c) Recklessly setting fire to any structure, forest land or property

The CAL FIRE Humboldt – Del Norte Unit would like to remind the public that the current drought conditions have led to an increased risk of wildfire. Of the seven largest recorded fires in California’s history, six have occurred since August of last year. For more information on how you can prevent wildfire, visit: