Fire History and Resources
This section provides fire history and resource information for Humboldt County and surrounding counties. Major fires reported on KMUD News are posted here and this section will serve as an archive for notable fires in our area.
Fire Resource information:
- To report a fire call 911 and be ready to report:
- that there is a fire.
- where the fire is located.
- the size of the fire.
- Other useful telephone numbers:
- Garberville Area Cal Fire Office: (707) 923-2645
- Cal Fire Humboldt/Del Norte Headquarters in Fortuna: (707) 725-4413
- Arson Hotline: 1-800-468-4408
- Useful Links:
Watch a Cal Fire Video on how to create a defensible space around your home:
Recent fires in our state have tapped Northern California CAL FIRE equipment and personnel leaving overall fire resources diminished in our area as hotter, dryer weather leads to increased fire potential. In addition to stretched resources and fire hazard prone weather, our local situation has been impacted by a bout of suspected arson caused blazes.
In an interview, aired on Fri., May 3, 2013 by KMUD News Director Terri Klemetson, Cal Fire Battalion Chief Jeremy Monroe indicated that we are in a very elevated fire hazard time right now with the potential for fires to become large fires. Monroe implores people to, "Be careful with fire in the wild lands."
Use the player below to hear the full interview
According to a Cal Fire News Release, dated Oct. 22, 2012:
California’s first significant rainfall of the season, combined with cooler temperatures, has allowed CAL FIRE to lift the statewide burn ban effective Monday, October 22, 2012. CAL FIRE had suspended all residential burn permits and various types of outdoor burning within the 31 million acres of State Responsibility Area on August 15, 2012. While the statewide burn ban is lifted, local burn bans set by CAL FIRE’s 21 operational units may still be in effect. Each of the 21 CAL FIRE unit chiefs will determine when local weather conditions will allow for safe outdoor burning. Following the lifting of local burn bans, burn permits may be required in some areas so residents should always check with their local fire station and air quality district before burning.
“While the threat of wildfires has not diminished completely, many areas will be receiving enough rainfall to allow homeowners to safely burn outdoors once their local burn bans are lifted,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE Director. “It is still important that residents monitor the weather closely, as a warming trend could increase the fire threat.” This fire season has kept firefighters across the State very busy as fire activity has been significantly higher this year. To date, there have been over 5,500 wildfires in CAL FIRE’s jurisdiction that have burned nearly 130,000 acres, compared to last year when there were 4,100 wildfires during the same time period that charred over 55,000 acres. Even with the cooler weather, there is still the possibility of wildfires and CAL FIRE remains prepared to respond.
For more information on Burn Permits and restrictions in your area see the Cal Fire web page at: http://www.fire.ca.gov/fire_protection/fire_protection_burnpermits.php
Humboldt-Del Norte Information:
Information released on Oct. 25, 2012 from the Humboldt-Del Norte Unit indicates:
CAL FIRE Unit Chief Tom Hein is formally cancelling the suspension and also advises that the declared FIRE SEASON has ended for the Humboldt – Del Norte Unit. People wishing to burn are required to obtain a burning permit from the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District (NCUAQMD). They can be contacted at (707) 443-3093. Safe burning still requires a minimum of 10’ clearance around the 4’ piles and an adult must be in attendance at all times. Chief Hein warns people to still use caution when burning, and to pay attention to changing weather conditions. For these permit applications and information, you can contact your local CAL FIRE Station. Burn day information is available at 1-866-287-6329.
CAL FIRE Mendocino Unit Chief Christopher P. Rowney has declared the 2012 Fire Season in Mendocino County will end Friday, October 26, 2012 at Midnight.
This year on State Responsibility land in Mendocino County there were 123 wildland fires burning approximately 11,400 acres. In addition to the 123 wildland fires, CAL FIRE, along with local fire departments, responded to 95 structure fires and 482 other fires.
Winter burning season will also begin Friday, October 26, 2012 at Midnight. CAL FIRE will not require burning permits until approximately May 1, 2013. Residents are reminded that BURNING MUST COMPLY WITH MENDOCINO COUNTY AIR QUALITY REGLUATIONS. For more information or to obtain a burn permit visit the MCQAMD web site at www.mendoair.org or call the District office at (707) 463-4354. Recorded Burn Day status is available 24/7 on the Burn Information Line at (707) 463-4391.
Final Update on Flynn Fire - Oct. 4, 2012 @ 6 pm:
The revised area of burn is now at 195 acres with 100% containment. Damage reports include: 1 injury, 1 residence and 9 outbuildings destroyed. Currently firefighters are conducting mop-up & patrol operations and demobilizing resources.
Previous Update on the Flynn Fire as of Oct. 2, 2012 at 6:30 pm - information taken from the Cal Fire incident information web page:
The Flynn Fire, located at Flynn Creek Rd. and Comptche Ukiah Rd, near the community of Comptche, in Mendocino County, began Oct. 1 at around 2:20 pm and has now burned 200 acres and destroyed 5 structures. It is presently 50% contained.
Additional information from a Cal Fire press release, dated Oct. 2 at 8 am, indicated that 20 structures were considered to be still threatened by the fire and listed the current situation as follows: "Fire is burning to the east into commercial timber property. Fire behavior is moderate to extreme with poor relative humidity recovery. Crews continue to construct, improve containment line & begin mop-up efforts."
For more information call the Flynn Fire Information Line at: (707) 456-1810.
Photos below are courtesy of Cal Fire.
Update Oct. 2, 2012
As reported by Cynthia Elkins on KMUD Local News for Tues., Oct. 2, 2012:
"KMUD news reported yesterday that neighbors believed two men killed in a structure fire in Potter Valley this weekend were an elderly father and his mentally disabled son. The Mendocino County Sherriff’s office confirmed that today, officially releasing the names of the two men. Earle McDaniel was 87 years old. His son Wesley McDaniel was 55. Firefighters say the mobile home was engulfed in flames too quickly to rescue the men. Two adults and three children reportedly were locked in the yard behind a gate without a key, getting out with the aid of firefighters just before propane tanks began exploding around the property. Police believe the nature of the fire is suspicious but they have not released further details of their investigation at this point."
Original post with Audio clip:
According to a press release from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, dated Sept. 29, 2012:
On 9-29-2012 at approximately 8:10 AM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies and California Highway Officers were dispatched to the listed location to assist Potter Valley and Cal Fire in regards to a fully engulfed residential fire. On arrival, deputies learned that family members had vacated the residence during the fire, but possibly two victims remained inside and were unaccounted for. Deputies then contacted detectives who responded to the location. During the fire investigation, two victims were located inside the burnt structure.
Mendocino County Detectives along with Cal Fire Investigators are continuing the investigation into the cause and origin of the fire along with identifying the two deceased victims. Further information will be released in the coming week.
Use the player below to hear the report on this incident aired on Mon. Oct. 1, 2012 by KMUD News Coordinator, Cynthia Elkins.
Update on Stafford Fire for September 14, 2012: Image from InciWeb
According to the Cal Fire web page, as of September 13, 2012 at 7:15 pm the Stafford Fire has been 100% contained and has burned 4,407 acres.
All evacuations and road closures have now been lifted. Because of heavy equipment and fire traffic, non-residents should avoid going into these areas. Traffic may be interrupted to allow for snag felling. Power has been restored to the residences on Wildwood Road and in the Wild Things area. Power has not been restored past the residences due to snags that must be felled before power can be restored. Firefighers are mopping up along the perimeter of the fire and doing suppression repair.
According to a press release from the Trinity County Sheriff's Office, dated Sept. 10, 2012:
As of 4:23 pm, Sept. 10, 2012, all evacuations and road closures have been lifted between Highway 3 and East Fork Road with the exception of Wildwood Road.
According to the Cal fire web site, dated Sept 10, at 6:30 am:
The fire is now 4,460 acres and is 45% contained with 225 residences, 28 commercial properties, 200 outbuildings threatened and one injury.
Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for the Morgan Hill, Wild Things, Wildwood Road, Nelson Road, portions of Summit Creek Road, Duncan Creek Lane, Barker Creek, Barker Valley, and the lower one-half mile portion of Big Creek Road areas.
Road Closures in effect: Wildwood Road is closed between Highway 3 on the North and County Road 343 (East Fork Road) on the South
Also see InciWeb for more information.
According to the Incident Information System Web Page, InciWeb, posted Sept 8, 2012:
The Stafford Fire began at approximately 2:42 p.m. Wednesday, September 5 near Wildwood Road southeast of Hayfork. As of Sat., Sept 8 at 1:30 pm, the fire size is estimated at 2,485 acres with 15% containment. The Forest Service and CAL FIRE are fighting the fire under Unified Command, and the cause of the fire is still under investigation. At 5:00 p.m. September 6, mandatory evacuations were ordered for the Morgan Hill, Wild Things and Wildwood Road areas. Specifically, residences from the end of Morgan Hill Road to Genest Road, Wild Things Road, and Wildwood Road from the north end to Highway 3 are under a mandatory evacuation order.
At 12:00 a.m. on Saturday September 8 the Trinity County Sheriff ordered the immediate evacuation of residences in the Barker Creek and Barker Valley areas. Sheriff's officers will be making personal door-to-door notification.
Road Closures in effect: Wildwood Road is closed between Highway 3 on the North and County Road 343 (East Fork Road) on the South. Firefighting equipment and activity near Highway 3 may temporarily interrupt traffic. See Caltrans link for current road information.
The photo below was clipped from the InciWeb site and shows the location of the Stafford Fire.