Pawnee Fire: Info, Maps, Photos and How the Humboldt County Strike Team Helped Save a Vineyard

Humboldt Strike Team on the Pawnee Fire

Between the fire and the grapes, Chris Mitchell, left, and Arly Allen of the Humboldt County Strike Team watch the progress of the fire as it slowly burns towards a private road on the Cache Creek Winery. [All photos by Mark McKenna]

Yesterday, firefighters from around the state including a Humboldt County Strike team, held the Pawnee Fire to 13,500 acres mostly in wildlands that didn’t seriously impact private property. The fire is now 25% contained.

Around 2,700 firefighters and support personnel moved from fighting a defensive fire and protecting structures to battering the fire back. Cooler weather and higher humidity helped as did the sheer numbers of humans and machines fighting back against the flames.

The Humboldt County Strike Team, which includes crews from Arcata Fire, Blue Lake Fire, Humboldt Bay Fire, Miranda Volunteer Fire and Briceland Volunteer Fire Departments is led by Humboldt Bay Fire Battalion Chief Kent Hulbert. Yesterday, the strike team successfully fought back the Pawnee Fire from burning the carefully tended vines of the Cache Creek Winery.

Below we take you through their day from morning briefing to refueling in the evening. At the bottom, we have today’s maps to show where the fire’s boundaries.

Checking the fire map at morning briefing.

The Humboldt County Strike team starts by checking the fire map at the morning briefing. From left to right: Miranda Chief Robert Richardson and Briceland Firefighters Kai Ostrow and Aurora Studebaker.

Humboldt County Strike team Looking for the Double Eagle subdivision on the map.

After they get their assignments, the start looking for the Double Eagle subdivision on the map. Kai Ostrow and Aurora Studebaker from Briceland Fire in front and Humboldt Bay Fire Battalion Chief Kent Hulbert in the back.

The Strike Team from Humboldt County which includes firefighters from Arcata Fire, Blue Lake Fire, Humboldt Bay Fire, Miranda Volunteer Fire and Briceland Volunteer Fire Departments get instructions from Kent Hulbert.

When the Strike team gets on site, Battalion Chief Kent Hulbert, of Humboldt Bay Fire, tells the crew from Briceland their part in the plan for the day.

When the Strike team gets on site, Battalion Chief Kent Hulbert, of Humboldt Bay Fire, tells the crew from Briceland the plan for the day.

Humboldt County Strike Team preparing for a day on the fireline.

The team will be preparing the area so the bulldozer can make a fire break. They’ll be doing backfires. This shot shows Marty Wansink, Aurora Studebaker, and Kai Ostrow.

Fire breaks over a ridge just North of the Cache Creek Winery.

Fire breaks over a ridge just North of the Cache Creek Winery.

Crews from the Humboldt Bay Strike team light a back fire.

Crews from the strike team light a backfire to keep the Pawnee Fire from burning through the area. The team uses these flames to consume the fuel before the wildfire gets to the area.

Humboldt Strike Team on the Pawnee Fire

Chris Mitchell, left and Arly Allen watch the progress of the fire as it slowly burns towards a private road on the Cache Creek Winery. [All photos by Mark McKenna]

A successful back burn stopped the progress of the fire,

A successful back burn stopped the progress of the fire, saving these grapes on the Cache Creek Winery.

the Humboldt Bay Strike team refuels

Brandon Harlander refills the Humboldt Bay Fire Truck.

Maps:

  • KMZ Map file–Opens in Google Earth for a three Dimensional view
  • PDF Map–please give it time to load
  • Or zoom on this map
    Pawnee fire June 27

    Zoom in to see details.

Evacuation and Shelter Information: For the most recent information, click here and here.

Earlier Chapters: 

 

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17 comments

  • Great Photos! Love to see these crews doing what is needed…thank you all!

  • Wow! These guys and gals are heroes killin it. Thank you! Thanks for the great coverage Kym!

  • Taurusballzhoff

    Lake County thanks the incredible fire crews for their brave and continuing actions!

    Thanks, and take care to protect yourselves!

  • Covelo or busted

    Really proud of all of you. say safe! thanks so much for doing your best!

  • Covelo or busted

    STAY SAFE!

  • Thank you Humboldt County Strike Team!! You are the true heroes of our community! Thank you Kym & Mark for the informative, interesting, & inspiring reporting & the amazing photos & videos. It helps us feel more comfortable knowing what’s happening. Keep up the great work!!! Its gonna be a long summer!!

  • ♡♡♥♡♡

    We are all neighbors maybe not always in proximity but definitely the way we live and love our land&community.

    Our humboldt folks are sooo dedicated it makes my heart swell. Seeing born and raised So Hum kids turn out to do these awesome things and be such amazing people is a testament to all. Not to diminish the folks who moved here and jumped into our community!
    Thank you so much to all of you and to all folks from everywhere out on the fires.

    Great article many thx!
    (Under pic says bryceland not briceland kym just fyi thx for ur fantabulous reporting!!!)

  • Real heroes indeed. I wish them safety and a fast return home. It makes me humble to know that there are people who volunteer to make themselves available for such dangerous work.

  • Kayla Schroeder

    Great photos! I love seeing my dad doing the thing he loves the most. Quick correction though, one of them says Kurt Hulbert. His brother’s name is Kurt but he’s definitely Kent 😂

  • Thank you to all the hard working remarkable men and women who go above and beyond to provide service to many communities near and far.
    Thank you to all community members who do their part by their donations to local volunteer fire departments. We are all in this together. Thoughts and prayers to keep these courageous men and women safe.

  • Thanks so much all of you, firefighters for putting yourselves on the line and Kim and Mark for keeping us informed. Well done!

  • The wine will have hints of oak, cherry and brush smoke.

  • unbridled philistine

    As I sit in my air conditioned office I think how terrible it would be to have go out there and fight the fire, Smoke, Ash and heat… So happy that there are people willing to go out and do this work. All I did was drive past the fire and that was enough foe me! Thank Jesus for Fire Fighters!

  • Lake County Not So Bad

    Kym, Mark and all of you Humboldt fire peeps. Thank You! Come back to Clearlake and lunch is on me or get in touch before you leave. About an hour ago I watched a line of troops walk across the flank of Chalk Mtn. scanning for embers. It’s 95 degrees out and they’re in full gear walking through hot ashes. I’m so grateful.

  • Thank you for your continued support of Cal OES the California Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid System….Chief Z

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