Humboldt Bay Fire has been busy this summer with wildland fires. Not only have there been a number of vegetation fires within our own area, but we have sent two of our engines and Strike Team Leaders to aid in some of the larger, high profile fires else-where in the state.
Locally we have seen an increase in vegetation fires with the largest fires occurring along the waterfront grasses and in the green-belts. A number of those incidents had fire behavior that would be expected inland, but is occurring here with the dry fuel beds. The largest fire occurred at the foot of T Street and totaled just over three acres by the time it was completely extinguished.
On July 22nd the “Soberanes Fire” in Monterey County erupted and Humboldt Bay Fire was requested to respond to the incident. Two Battalion Chiefs from Humboldt Bay Fire responded, leading two Humboldt Bay Fire engines with six personnel, as well as three other Humboldt County fire agency engines to the blaze. The Humboldt Bay Fire resources remained committed to the inci-dent through August 14th. Humboldt Bay Fire personnel were involved with structure protection, construction of containment and control lines, extinguishment and mop up of areas. The fire is now nearly 90,000 acres with about 60% containment.
While the Humboldt Bay Fire resources were fighting the fire in Southern California, many other HBF personnel covered the sta-tions here at home for as many as five 24-hour days straight before they were relieved. Once our personnel and resources returned from the “Soberanes Fire” they returned to their normal shifts until the next mutual aid request.
In addition to the “Soberanes Fire”, our personnel have also staffed our two four-wheel drive wildland engines and covered the Humboldt Cal-Fire stations while their resources were committed to other incidents and operational areas throughout the state. At the time of this article, the two Humboldt Bay Fire wildland engines were committed to Cal Fire for coverage and fighting the “Tully” incident in Weitchpec.
As we progress through the fire season, Humboldt Bay Fire wants everyone to recognize that this fire season is shaping up to be a busy one. Fuel moistures are consistent with what is found at the end of the fire season. This means larger fires can spread through the fuels much faster. Please use caution when engaged in activities that could lead to a vegetation fire, such as using barbecues, riding off-road vehicles and even utilizing lawn equipment. Every resource that is committed away from our home unit, puts additional strain on the local re-sources. Although we are able to cover all of our stations, it leaves us short on larger incidents or multiple incidents at the same time. Please be safe.
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