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Wind driven fire at Arcata Marsh burns three acres

The following is from the Arcata Fire Protection District:

At approximately 1:54 P.M. this afternoon Arcata Fire Protection District was dispatched to a brush fire at the marsh between I Street and South G Street. Upon arrival the first engine reported a 50 foot by 50 foot spot fire that rapidly spread to approximately one acre within ten minutes.

“This was a fast moving, wind driven fire,” stated Incident Commander (IC) Alan Davis. The estimated size of the fire at the time of this press release was three acres.

The fire was located in the marsh between Allen Marsh and Log Pond. Multiple crews fought this fire on the ground and in the air. The ground crews were divided up into two divisions. One division attacked the fire from the north and moved south and the second ground crew attacked the fire from the south and moved north. Meanwhile, Cal Fires’ Air Attack airplane (A102) was in the air giving the Incident Commander updates on the progress firefighters were making and Cal Fire Helicopter (H102) helped extinguish the fire by dumping water from the marsh onto the fire. “Cal Fires’ air attack and helicopter were extremely helpful in fighting this difficult fire.” says IC Davis. The fire was contained around 4:00 P.M. No structures were damaged, however, the Interpretive Center was threatened, but quick work by the fire crews stopped the spread of the fire in that direction. There was one bench that burned, but no other damage or injuries have been reported. At this time, the cause of the fire is unknown and still under investigation.

Arcata Fire Protection District (AFPD) responded with three chief officers, three engines, and one water tender. AFPD would like to thank all the agencies that responded. Humboldt Bay Fire provided two chief officers and three engines. Cal Fire and Redwood National Park provided one Air Attack (A102), one Helicopter (H102), four engines, and one hand crew. Samoa Peninsula Fire District provided one engine for station coverage, and Arcata Police Department assisted with traffic control. We would also like to thank our City of Arcata personnel for assisting and coordinating with the crews and supplying necessary information for them during the incident.

Arcata Fire Protection District would like to remind everyone to be extremely careful this time of year. The ground is very dry and when the winds pick up in the afternoon it causes small fires to grow and spread very quickly. Please be sure that your camp fires, cooking, and warming fires are completely extinguished before you leave.