The Arcata Fire Protection District (AFPD) responded to two fires in the Arcata area Friday, July 12. The first fire, reported at 5:33 p.m., was initially reported as a power line down in the 100 block of California
Avenue. Firefighters found two lines that had fallen in front of a house, and causing a fire under the redwood trees in the front yard. The resident’s care provider and his son needed to make contact, so firefighters escorted them safely through several yards down the street and into the back of the house. A cell phone was used to stay in contact with the residents through the incident.
According to Fire Chief Desmond Cowan, “Any time there’s a power line down, it poses a great threat to anyone nearby. If you see a line down, treat it like it’s energized and keep away from the line for your own safety.”
Because of the distances and number of possible homes involved, an additional engine responded to the incident. Personnel from PG&E arrived and isolated the power so that the lines could be removed and firefighters could completely extinguish the fire. Just as they were beginning that process, a second incident occurred in the area of Foster Avenue and Q Street in the Westwood area of Arcata.
At 6:57 p.m. firefighters responded to the second incident. A large column of smoke was visible from California Avenue and two additional engines were requested. The first two Arcata engines on scene began extinguishing the fire which was moving slowly through grass and brush and in the direction of a neighborhood of apartment buildings. Humboldt Bay Fire personnel arrived and assisted in the fire attack. Four engines and fourteen firefighters were involved in working on the Foster Avenue fire. There were no injuries to residents of the area or firefighters. Personnel were on scene for about two hours extinguishing this fire, which is believed to have been caused by an unattended cooking fire.