Holiday revelers keep North Coast fire departments busy over 4th of July weekend


EUREKA, Calif. (KIEM)-Fire departments in both Humboldt and Del Norte counties were busy battling fires through-out the counties over the holiday weekend.

“The fact that there were minimal government sponsored shows happening, large firework shows. I think that a lot people locally took it into their own hands,” said Humboldt Bay Fire’s Battalion Chief Nick Launius.

And many local people did, video sent to Redwood News from viewers showed the moment a mortar tips over in 20 to 30 feet of grass at King salmon Beach, then flames spread quickly.

Bystanders on scene teamed up to help prevent the fire from spreading. That fire was put out, and no one was hurt and Launius says they stayed busy.

“On July 4th Humboldt Bay Fire responded to 39 calls for service, including a vehicle fire, two building fires, two brush fires and four trash fires,” he said.

Two of those trash fires were determined to be caused by the improper disposal of legal fireworks after use.

The structure fire reported at the 3800-block of Pennsylvania Avenue sustained the most damage, with about $125,000 estimated in damages.

Fire crews arrived to see a two car garage at the back of the home fully engulfed in flames.

No one was hurt in that incident, the homeowner was grateful his family was safe.

Crescent City Fire & Rescue was also inundated with fire calls over the holiday weekend.

There were a total of 47 fires in Del Norte County, ranging from camp fires to trash bin fires with four related to fireworks, and 10 medical calls that were not fireworks related.

Fire Chief Bill Gillespie says an already dry season prompted burn restrictions throughout the state.

“And people just need to be careful if their out and they’ve got a cooking fire or a warming fire because it can spread with a little bit of wind or not enough clearance, it can spread very quickly,” said Gillespie.

Launius urges those with left over fireworks to use them responsibly.

“If they are going to continue using them we’d just like to see them use them safely and consciously so that nobody gets hurt and so that we don’t see any more fire damage to our local community,” he said.

A link of tips on how to dispose fireworks correctly can be found by clicking here.