How Bad Are the Fires? Listen to This Short Video From Yesterday’s Fire Meeting

Yesterday, August 2, a meeting was held in Blocksburg at 10 a.m.  This video was taken by Michelle Bushnell who lives in the area.

Here’s a sample of what the Cal Fire spokesperson told residents, “Ruth Lake is the big story right now…[Blocksburg is] not Number 1. I can’t even guarantee we are number two…This is not a good situation…Let’s get the elderly and children out of town.”

Listen to the whole piece below.

Keep in mind that this was yesterday. Since then more resources have come into the area and a backfire was set last night that helps protect the town. Still, this helps give an idea of how our emergency crews are spread as thin as butter right now as fires rolls over our wildlands and close to our communities.



  • Pingback: [UPDATE 10:57 a.m.] Lightning Fire Day 4 | Redheaded Blackbelt

  • This is the timber industry’s fault for cutting down the forest canopy along the coast long ago. It completely altered the ecosystem of the entire Sierra Range. They will never admit to their guilt even though the examples and environmental data all over the world confirm the aftermath of their path of destruction. Brazil, Indonesia, Humboldt… Cut down the forests, damn the rivers, overgraze the land and deplete the water table to agriculture, industry, and cities. The result is always the same. Their answer is always the same; Denial, denial, denial….

    • This is no time to lay blame but while you’re at it you might want to include our local – growers in the equation as they have done environmental damage as well -regrading, cutting and draining the rivers. I fully support our firefighters and their tremendous efforts under such adverse conditions.

      • Their roads/ grading are serving as fire lines, ponds and bladders are being purposed for suppression.

        Thankfully there is a lot of water storage out in the hills right now.

      • target real prob

        The timber industry has a practice of poisoning trees in a forest they do not want to cut. This creates literally a multi story giant match. The issue was just before the mendo BOS and they voted to allow this practice to continue. Isnt that why firefighters have been protesting forest industry standards? I’d rather stand behind what they say than the hyped up its all growers faults b.s.
        Actually the drought is to blame. The ocean off the entire west coast is very warm. Read about the effects of warmer ocean, and one big root of the drought problem appears. Also lift up outta the redwood bubble and see how many folks around the world are literally dying from heat or flooding (Myanmar this week). Be grateful we get some help.

        If only it was just pot growers fault, it would be a single issue to be fixed that could correct the problem. It takes a lot of pot grows to match the water use for even one cow, esp in hot weather.(800,000 gal.s over life)
        If you really wanna blame, look around from bay area up at how much water is diverted from natural river flows. Why havent all the car washes in L.A. been shut down? That industry alone wastes so much water and also pollutes the water with toxic chemicals. Why does cal trans get to use water tenders to keep dust down? Growers are being blamed; every grower I know in the hills of so hum have great land practices and sustainable water storage. There are bad folks in every industry, & those folks outta be run outta town. Do you really think that any of our volunteer fire depts could exist without growers contributions? Maybe folks dont get it but a major part of the so hum community basically pay “taxes” for services thru donations. Fire fighting, KMUD, community center, schools, etc. If you like knowing a volunteer fire fighter is ready to try to save your house or you get up to date evac notices on kmud, shut it about growers being the problem.

        • They are doing the best they can with what they got. They are cutting radically less redwood in an effort to help grow back the timberlands. When MRC bought the old LP lands, they thought they were getting ten thousand board feet per acre… merchantable. There was less than five thousand per acre and most of it NOT merchantable.

          They did NOT just sell it to another rube. They stuck, and they EVEN tried making flooring out of their millions of board feet of scrub oak, but nobody would buy it. So in order to keep regrowing the redwood they have to find ways to deal with the weed trees that don’t cost very much. Those are ALL worthless-to-timberlands weed trees that actually slow regrowth of the forest.

          They were all there when they bought it. WE did NOT stop LP from doing that to the property. Even if they were not dead trees they’d be NEARLY as bad a fire hazard. Industry people just look at those things and say “fuel”. Alive or dead, standing or down.

          Maybe the dope growers of Mendo World would consider pitching in for chippers to lower the fire hazard and enhance the soils’ ability to hold moisture?

          Anyway, after all the pillage Mendocino and Humboldt have allowed for the last 150 years, there is FINALLY a company trying to help turn it around, so DON’T be making it worse for them. We are LUCKY to have them.

          • Uh-huh just keep telling yourself that. Growing only one kind of tree is a tree farm not a forest. Why should townsfolk have to pay to chip dead standing trees??? That makes no sense. The timber industry creates a horrible problem that citizens are supposed to undo? They pay less taxes and get to break more rules than any average citizen.
            The problems they create such as dead standing trees contributes greatly to dangers for locals thru fire that then is paid to get put out by public money not private timber money. They get to walk away while other rural landowners have to clear around their houses at their own cost. Are u Charles Hurwitz cuz ur logic sounds the samr. Never ever ever trust big biz.

          • My POINT is: MRC/HRC didn’t do this to us. Those timberlands were SOLID redwoods when the logging barons came to the coast back in the 1800s. If we want to feel like our habitat is our habitat, we should be trying our best to help MRC/HRC restore it instead of blaming them for the problems WE let their predecessors perpetrate.

            They actually ARE taking responsibility for restoration… and, again, the tan oaks they’re hacking and squirting are not really much more of a fire hazard than they were before someone did something about them.

            I’m not just telling myself this. I sat on those guys from the MINUTE they announced they were taking ownership of the LP lands in Mendocino. No, I don’t love everything they are doing, but, overall, they ARE restoring the worst insults to the watersheds that LP left, AND they ARE doing the LEAST damaging and MOST feasible thing about getting the weeds out of the way of conifer regeneration.

            Yes, the companies own that land, and we own ours, but we’re ALL responsible, everyone who has lived and worked here, from the git, for the condition of our habitat. Where natural calamities occur, sometimes they have been worse because of human stupidity, irresponsibility and greed, and sometimes not.

            MRC/HRC chose the LEAST damaging option to RESTORE the native FOREST… and believe me or don’t believe me, but even if the tan oaks were all still thriving they would be burning as fast as the dead ones in this drought…. And many of them have the sudden oak death thing going on and are harming the young conifer with that. It’s a bad situation.

            They made the best of a bad deal. I am grateful.

      • Yeah especially all those growers with heavy equipment who are helping put out small fires, helping their neighbors, and who spent the time and money to have extra water tanks filled & put in special fittings to attach a firehose to their water system.
        And those damn growers who keep kmud alive so you can hear up to date information. Oh and dont forget the growers who are even (gasp) volunteer fire fighters. What jerks.
        (In honor of sarcasm)

        • To be fair, most folks don’t understand how much good the growers do because for obvious reasons, the growers are reluctant to be identified. Sadly, the folks who get identified as growers are the ones who usually are behaving terribly.

          • Sadly, you are right.

          • Lost Croat Outburst

            Exactly right, Kempster. People forget that when you are illegal, you can’t take out ads extolling your attempts to breed less skunky, stinky weed as a community service. You can’t trumpet your attempts to reduce environmental impacts.

    • The blame game is pointless buddy. It could easily be said that this is the anti logging communities fault for allowing fuel loading to get out of control. With the lack of vegetation management and perscribed fire it has led to catastrophic conditions. No need to place blame on anyone, it is a multi faceted issue.

    • amimissingsomething

      Bull Shit

    • So who’s responsible for the deplorable conditions of the millions of acres of Federal lands that are currently exploding in Trinity and Humboldt counties? You sure can’t blame horrific fuel loading levels on the timber industry since the Feds, er I mean the so-called environmental community stopped any type of forest management 20 years ago. Get it straight, thinning forests will reduce catastrophic fire impacts and allow it to do the good that’s needed when it happens, improve water storage and habitat, and contribute to a decent economy beyond growing pot. The Sierra Range is absolutely a different ecosystem than the Coastal Range. Can’t even make the same comparison of dry high elevation pine sites to the dank redwoods.

    • Your a big part of the problem

    • It is easy to place blame, we have broke the forests thru a lot of policies. It is logging, the eco people and bad management by the people we trust,i,e. the govetment

    • Waterhorse, I read your comment in total disbelief. Why do you need to find blame in a fire season that is unlike none we have ever experienced? I could put together an arguement that makes the case for lack of management, but what would it prove? I fought fires for three summers in Idaho and California. One thing I learned is that dry or super dry forests burn like there is no tomorrow.

  • Wishing our brave firefighters the best. And good luck to everyone else too. Like the guy said, buildings can be replaced, people can’t. So err on the side of safety.

  • “I can’t guarantee that’s (Alderpoint Volunteer Fire House) is a good place to go.”

    I was feeling safer when it was set up as a place to go last night. Now? not so much.

    • This video predates setting up the firehouse, I believe. He was not saying it was not safe, he was just saying he didn’t know if it was. He’s not local I think. Stephanie says that the dozers have cut a fire line at the Steelhead fire. I’d say it’s safe, but keep an eye on the western front for flames, which could be a sign that its time to go to Garberville.

  • I like my butter spread thick….


    With Jade Helm going on there are lots of choppers, soldiers, and support gear in large amounts all over the state for their war game about Patriots trying to take back America.

    Why not cut the war game bull and use that gear to fight fires?

  • There’s enough old timers and iron out there to cut in massive defense lines.
    Fire up all them dozers boys and save your town.

  • Cutting trees down didn’t cause lightning to strike,El Nino did.all the folks who are losing or have lost their homes I’m so praying everyone is alright.god bless all

  • There is no blame here, lighting is nature. Thank you to all the firefighters. Every local has helped. I live here and have seen every locked gate opened regardless what is behind that gate. Every person in that area is offering help, water, food , showers ect. You want to see a community unite, take good look! It’s happing. Thank you to all my neighbors in blocksburg , you are all awsome.

  • Old-timers will recall that we’ve had these lightning strike fire clusters before. 1990, 2003. If there is insufficient response it is due to lack of planning or resources for fire fighting in the past several years. It seems that we need more emphasis on fire fighting. A good place to start for us might be to support our local volunteers so they can get more training and equipment (and members).

    • Yeah Ed, try getting the seasonal green rushers to volunteer. Getting them to exchange phone numbers with their neighbors is difficult enough.
      They’re not interested in being part of our communities or helping anyone but themselves.

  • Thanks Kym Kemp for keeping us all so informed at what is going on with the fires and all your reporting around our area. You are the best.

  • I live on highway 36 in the 19000 block. just moved here recently and all this fire stuff is freaking me out. my prayers to all of those affected.I hope they get control soon.

  • What about all the anti loggers shutting down all the forest service logging which lead to lots of fuel on the ground.Then forest service decommissioned all the roads which made it impossible to access the land once a fire broke out,but all the tree jiggers don’t think of this do they.You made your bed now lay in it

  • It’s horrible that people are losing their homes, crops, animals, over all lively hood and sanity….and not because of the timber industry or growers but because of mother nature. Lightning, dry conditions are out of all of our control. I hate reading people pointing fingers and placing blame when the rest of us are supporting, praying for the victims and hero’s of this tragedy

  • I smell the foot

  • Pingback: [UPDATE 11:08 a.m.] Day 5: Lightning Fires | Redheaded Blackbelt

  • curious bystander

    I enjoyed this discussion. I learned a lot about MRC/HRC and pot growers’ involvement in helping firefighters. I appreciate Kim’s input. If only name calling and finger pointing stayed out of these discussions, I’d learn a whole lot more. Thank you to all firefighters, as well as any humans whose intentions are to help the planet and their community, local and global.

  • Pingback: [UPDATE 8:40 a.m.] Day 6: Lightning Fires | Redheaded Blackbelt

  • Pingback: [UPDATED 10:30 a.m.] Day 7: Lightning Fires | Redheaded Blackbelt

  • Pingback: [UPDATE 10:08 a.m.] Day 8: Lightning Fires | Redheaded Blackbelt

  • Pingback: Day 10 Lightning Fires | Redheaded Blackbelt

  • Pingback: [UPDATE 8:40 p.m.] Day 10: Lightning Fires | Redheaded Blackbelt

  • Pingback: [UPDATE 9:37 a.m.] Day 12: A Dozen Days After the Lightning Fires Began | Redheaded Blackbelt

  • Pingback: [UPDATE 9: 53 a.m.] Day 13, Lightning Fires | Redheaded Blackbelt

  • Pingback: [UPDATE 11:02 a.m.] Day 15: Lightning Fires | Redheaded Blackbelt

  • Pingback: Day 16: Lightning Fires | Redheaded Blackbelt

  • Pingback: Day 17: Lighting Fires | Redheaded Blackbelt

  • Pingback: Day 18: Lightning Fires | Redheaded Blackbelt

  • Pingback: Day 19: Lightning Fires | Redheaded Blackbelt

  • Pingback: Day 20: Lightning Fires | Redheaded Blackbelt

  • Pingback: Day 21: Lightning Fires | Redheaded Blackbelt

  • Pingback: [UPDATE 10:51 p.m.] Day 22: Lightning Fires | Redheaded Blackbelt

  • Pingback: Day 23: Lightning Fires | Redheaded Blackbelt

  • Pingback: [UPDATE 8:42 p.m.] Day 24: Lightning Fires | Redheaded Blackbelt

  • Pingback: [UPDATE 6:40 p.m.] Day 27: Lightning Fires | Redheaded Blackbelt

  • Pingback: Day 31: Lightning Fires…..Will They Ever End? | Redheaded Blackbelt

  • Pingback: [UPDATE 8:23 p.m.] Day 38: Lightning Fires–All Complexes Over 50% Contained! | Redheaded Blackbelt

  • Pingback: Day 39: Lightning Fires–the Last Daily Summary | Redheaded Blackbelt

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *