Hoopa Fire Chief Greg Moon talks about this morning’s fire in Hoopa.
Two separate fires in Hoopa and Hawkins Bar are under control after they were illegally set by people within a span of 10 hours, fire officials say.
Hoopa Fire Chief Greg Moon told the Outpost that authorities are looking for a suspect who is believed to have intentionally started the most recent fire, which was ignited along Highway 96 near the Hoopa Shopping Center at about 7:15 a.m. today.
“It looks like this fire was set intentionally in a grass field,” Moon said in a video on social media today. “We are investigating these fires and we are taking this very seriously.”
The fire was held to under an acre and firefighters will continue to monitor the area throughout the day.
A separate fire prompted a multi-agency response in Hawkins Bar yesterday at about 9:30 p.m., after a man allegedly left an illegal burn pile unattended on the 1600 block of Hawkins Bar Road.
Hawkins Bar Volunteer Fire Department Chief Todd Wright told the Outpost that burning is suspended in the region, and that the man could face penalties following an investigation by the U.S. Forest Service. The U.S. Forest Service did not respond to questioning about the fire.
The fire was contained to three-fourths of an acre shortly after midnight. Firefighters will remain on scene to perform mop-up duties for the next few days.
“Disaster avoided,” Hawkins Bar Volunteer Fire stated on social media after containing the blaze early this morning.
The Salyer and Hawkins Bar Volunteer Fire Departments, Hoopa Wildland Fire Department, Yurok Fire Department, Trinity County Sheriff’s Office and USFS law enforcement with the Six Rivers National Forest all responded to the scene.
Potential witnesses in connection to this morning’s fire in Hoopa are encouraged to call the Hoopa Valley Tribal Police at (530) 625-4202. Moon said that people can also call the “WeTip” arson hotline (1-800-47-ARSON) to receive a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of an arson suspect.
“We’re nearing extreme drought conditions and everybody needs to be very cognizant of burning, fires, towing trailers and making sure people are being really careful,” Moon said. “We have so much at stake. We have a chance for a summer without smoke for once, and I would love to see that.”