[UPDATE 11:03 a.m.] Escaped Controlled Burn Near Benbow


Cal Fire vehicles to the left of a wooded area while a fire burns on the right near the edge of a meadow. [Photo by Ernie Branscomb]

At approximately 8:50 a.m., Cal Fire and Garberville fire responded to a fire which reportedly escaped from a controlled burn. Garberville residents heard sirens wailing as engines raced south out of town towards Benbow. We’ll update as soon as we know more.


Crews mopping up. [Photo provided by Cal Fire}

UPDATE 11:03 a.m.: 

Cal Fire spokesperson Laura Coleman wrote that a citation had been issued. The person starting the burn pile only had a s”tandard permit, no LE-5 and no clearance.”  The fire burned 1/4 acre.



  • If I’m going to be the Benbow cub reporter, I’m going to have to get better at sending pictures. I was standing in the sun with my cell phone and didn’t see the “Send” part until I got clear to G’ville. I see the second try worked. The fire is East of the freeway about half way up the hill.

  • Why are they doing controlled burns after they’ve declared the official start to fire season? Way too many wildfires are CAUSED by “controlled” burns and surely this has to be part of why. Seems to me they could send out a little army of guys armed with weed whackers and get it knocked without taking this kind of chance in a drought.

    • I agree with your reasoning, however, I’m sure that the firefighters will not object to this one. It was a good slow moving fire for training. Besides, there is nothing like the smell of wildfire smoke in the morning to a firefighter, they live for it.

      • Heh. I was going to mention about how I suspect firefighters, and foresters, the slash pile thing, of being pyros, but, well, I hadn’t had enough coffee yet… 😛

  • Was this a CDF controlled burn?


    Why do fire [cops] think they have any authority to write tickets? It’s bad enough they have to use Enron accounting to claim they are broke, hide money to stick it to property owners.

    I hope the ticket guy sits on his pen and needs stitches, he should be ashamed of writing tickets, telling lies about budgets, and stop being fire [cops].

    • Lazy Skunk Ranch,

      I am an angry pissed-off old man, so one would think that I would agree with you more… But I don’t. You are actually the problem. You see these “Fire Pigs” that write tickets do so because you voted for the jerks in the State government that make the rules and make fire fighter write tickets.

      Fire fighters would do what they do to save humanity whether they got paid or not. In fact most fire fighters would pay to be one. Volunteers make up a high percentage of this counties fire crews. Most of them don’t get paid when they leave their jobs to go save some malcontent stupid voter that sends some idiots to Sacramento. But, when I say that, I also say that we have some good people in Sacramento… but it’s getting to be fewer all the time.

      Choose your battles. you are going to lose this one.

  • Unfortunately the only way to get some folks to comply with regulations is to threaten their pocketbook. A few pages of literature regarding safe fire & water practices, as well as burn hotline #, local fire dept #, etc. given to every land owner could help. Those who want to do the right thing will have the information & resources to implement good stewardship. Those who dont, well can say we told you how & u didnt so face the consequences. If you are the one doing stupid crap in your hill neighborhood, you are endangering all your neighbors, who will hate you. Instead ask them how things work w.burn permits, water, etc and show that you care even a little about where you live. It goes a long way and being a functioning part of your local community is very rewarding on many levels, neighbors helping neighbors.

  • All these idiots had to do is wait for the rain that’s coming. I’m tired of people being ” fire-stupid”.

  • And Lazy Skunk Ranch; no blame put on the fire starters? Only bitching about the firefighters that responded to put it out, thus saving the neighborhood from potential disaster, get your priorities straight!

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