Locals Were Joined by Air Support and Ground Crews to Fight the Petersburg Fire

Retardant sprayed on the Petersburg Fire coats everything in its path.

Retardant sprayed on the Petersburg Fire coats everything in its path. [Photo provided by Monk]

Firefighters and local crews are battling the Petersburg Fire near Cecilville between Hoopa and Callahan today.It burst out yesterday afternoon about 2:45 p.m. Some Forest Service structures were burned, according to the Northern California Geographic Coordination Center. The fire is now 350 acres and 20% contained.

Evacuation orders are in effect for Lakeview Ranch and Glacier View Ranch but the evacuation order for Big Flat has been downgraded to a warning.

Yesterday, locals were the first on the scene of the blaze, which is three miles south of the Forest Service Petersburg station, according to a man who wants to be known only by his nickname of Monk. “[W]e’re pretty connected as a community having to deal with fire. We have a phone tree that was activated right away…[W]e were able to mobilize and get our community resources on it right away.”

A local resident keeps equipment running during the Petersburg Fire.

A local resident keeps equipment running during the Petersburg Fire. [Photo provided by Monk]

He said that about seven locals fought the flames. “The ranches next door were on it with hand tools and piss pumps when it was 1-2 acres,” he explained. “The rest of us got up there about 30min later [w]ith multiple pumps and hose lays.”

Then air resources started arriving. Monk described “[m]ultiple Air attack bombers…were on it about an hour after the initial call to 911 went in. They really stepped it up with air attack resources on this one. Bomber guide plane and spotter plane with infrared. Two water drop helicopters and at least one spotter/assessment helicopter.”

Later, fire crews reached the scene. “It…always takes a bit for ground crews to arrive being so remote here,” he explained.

Flames rise in the background while locals work to get equipment going.

Flames rise in the background while locals work to get equipment going. [Photo from Monk]

Firefighters were busy overnight. According to InciWeb, “Crews worked through the night constructing fire line. As of this morning, they are 1/2 mile from completing line around the fire.”

Earlier Chapter: New 100 Acre Fire Burning Between Hoopa and Callahan

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7 comments

  • Awesome response locals! (and others too). By getting out right away and fighting this fire you may contain what could become a catastrophe.

  • My son is there with his Lassen crew. How is the fire looking this afternoon?

    • I’m far away, but the plume is small and looks like it’s been managed more than got out of control

  • CLAUDIA Johnson

    So nice when people come together This fire season is going to be a bad one There are fires all over Northern .ca It is early Hope all firefighters are safe this year To bad people don’t act like that in the cities

    • I watched the locals help in floods in Austin a few years ago, brining in their private boats to rescued people, doing all sorts of animal rescues. I think it depends if they are a self sufficient bunch or used to having government take care of them. Or whether the police shoo everyone away.

  • Wow, about 6 fire planes, for retardant, just took off out of Crescent City Airport! This wind could stop any time.

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