[UPDATE 4:01 p.m.] Sheriff’s Department Calls for Voluntary Evacuation in Fire in Swayback Ridge Area

Swayback Ridge

[Photo by Daniel Lawson]

Press release from the Sheriff’s Department:

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



  • Is this the smoke we see on laytonville?

  • Veterans friend

    Bless you all. Stay safe

  • Go fire fighter’s go be safe and kick ass

  • Kudos to the residents who kept the fire contained until Cal Fire was able to come. Great job!

    • Forest service personal were also on scene right after it started. They all did a great job. My husband is one of those men who helped contain it. Zenia engine 343!!

      • no no thats modoc smokes…..and those were Forest Service in green not red trucks..huh Miss AC!?!

        planes and helicopters cant stop fires…men and women on the ground do, but dont be mistaken those aircraft helped check forward spread.

        This fire had potential to wipe Swayback and Burr clean…..you gotta keep it tight out there or the results or LEI and fire will end up severe …

  • Passed a small new fire on 299 south of Lewiston yesterday. Passed a number of Cal Fire units responding. Anybody know if they got it?

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