Officials: Fires in "Greenbelt" area a weekly occurrence

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Responding to fires in the area known as “Greenbelt” has become a regular occurrence for Humboldt Bay Fire.

 

"We’re down there at least every couple of days," Assistant Chief Bill Gillespie said.

 

Gillespie said that the brush-filled area behind the Bayshore Mall is a popular destination for homeless.

 

"Just the human activity down there leads to a lot of the fires that we see," he said.

 

Monday’s fire ripped through roughly three acres. Officials on scene made the decision to wait until it reached the road to fight the blaze.

 

"When we got on scene initially we could hear a number of booms going off," Gillespie said.

 

Those booms were propane tanks and aerosol cans— items that can be especially hazardous near heat.

 

"Without being able to see what was going off, it presented more of hazard than we were willing to put personnel in for."

 

This hazard is regular occurrence in the Greenbelt area.

 

"With the people down there, we work to try to keep it cleaned up,” Gillespie said. “There's been efforts that have gone on, but with people going in and out we're going to end up having fires in that green belt area."

He doesn’t anticipate the activity to end anytime soon.

 

"When I left last night there was a camp set up that was a hundred yards north of where the fire burned through," he said.

 

Fire officials said what does help, is people keeping an eye out and reporting suspicious activity.