[UPDATE 4:01 p.m.] Sheriff’s Department Calls for Voluntary Evacuation in Fire in Swayback Ridge Area
There is currently a 20 acre wildland fire burning in the Swayback Ridge area near the Mad River Ranger Station. The fire is on a ridge top north of Black Lassic and to the west of the Van Duzen Rd. Fire personnel are on scene. The Sheriff’s Office is requesting a voluntary evacuation of residents in the area. Residents wishing to stay are asked to prepare for evacuation. Further information to follow.
UPDATE 12:45 p.m.: Over the scanner we can hear that three residences have been notified. All are choosing to stay at this time.
UPDATE 12:53 p.m.: Now that the ground resources are coming in, it’s starting to look pretty good,” reports the Incident Commander.
UPDATE 1:53 p.m.: A neighbor called us and described what occured. He said,
I was at my cabin. I got a message from a neighbor. “Fire! Bring bodies and shovels if you can.”
It was serious. There was a lot of fire.
We got organized….we didn’t want anyone trapped. We were able to beat the fire back some…We were able to maintain the fire.. along a road.
Another neighbor that I’d met showed up with a 6 wheel army truck with a water tank on it. Another neighbor came with [water] line [that was hooked to the truck].
It was just a bunch of people working their ass off in the smoke and the heat to keep [the fire] from moving across the ridgetop….We kept it from getting further up the hill. It was nice that there were people there willing to help.
[Eventually,] a Cal Fire helicopter showed up and dropped off … around eight people. [By the time we left,] it looked they were going to stop it. We couldn’t have done it without Cal Fire.
The cause of the fire was a tipped over quad. The person who rolled the quad was fine. He was one of the main people helping to maintain the fire line.
UPDATE 3:30 p.m.: Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services tweeted, “The USFS has reported good progress on containment on the Sway Fire. Voluntary Evacuation Advisory has been lifted for nearby residents.”
UPDATE 4:01 p.m.: Lt. Fridley of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office reports that the fire is 90% contained.
Earlier Chapter: Fire Burning Near Swayback Ridge