Humboldt Bay Fire Call Numbers Affected by COVID-19 Pandemic

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EUREKA, Calif. (KIEM) – Humboldt Bay Fire posts weekly call volume numbers to Facebook. That data has shown a new trend due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Humboldt Bay Fire Public Information Officer Amy Conlin said the pandemic actually caused the call volume to decrease.

“When folks were abiding by the shelter-in-place order, call volume was down, which is good for everyone. Every call we get is someone’s bad day, so that means there’s less of that happening,” Conlin said.

The decrease is believed to be from residents staying inside and not being exposed to as much. During the decline, Conlin said the department did not see an increase in a specific type of call, but there was increased sensitivity around medical aid calls with potential COVID-19 symptoms.

Once shelter-in-place restrictions loosened, the call volume returned to “pre-COVID levels.” In recent weeks, Conlin said Humboldt Bay Fire now receives between 130 and 150 calls per week.

“As people relax with the shelter-in-place and more people are going out, there’s more accidents and there’s more fires and so on and so forth,” Conlin said. “So hopefully we’ll see a decrease as always. The fewer calls the better as far as safety goes, but we are ready to respond to any number of calls that come in.”

In addition to the pandemic, fire season is another major concern. Humboldt Bay Fire expects an increase with the current season underway. In the past week, Conlin said there have already been seven fires.

Humboldt Bay Fire encourages community members to remain vigilant about their fire safety.