[UPDATE 9:40 p.m.: Structures Burned] 5 Acre Fire in Benbow


Benbow fire [Photo by Talia Rose of Country Line WIld]


Photo by a reader.

Readers tell us there is a large fire burning in the Benbow area. A resident reports that it is burning about 5 acres off of Blue Rock Road.

UPDATE 6:09 p.m.: We’re being told by a Benbow resident that several structures have burned.

UPDATE 7:03 p.m.: Cal Fire reports that there is “one structure fire within the burn area (crews still working on Structure) and one travel trailer fully involved/destroyed. Some residents were evacuated but the “forward spread has been stopped,” Cal Fire states, “We are still working on the structure fire.  Resources are still at scene; some aircraft released; Copters and Air Attack still at scene.”

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Cal Fire photo

UPDATE 9:40 p.m.: Cal Fire spokesperson Laura Coleman writes, “The forward progress has been stopped” at 5 acres. Evacuations have been lifted. “One vehicle and one home destroyed,” Coleman said. “[A]ir resources released; resources are at scene and will continue to be for next couple of days.”



  • Blue rock road not blue slide road

  • Do you mean Blue Rock Road?

  • Is it Blue Slide or Blue Rock Rd??

  • At 6:30 KMUD just reported fire is 70% contained and still at 5 acres.

  • Oh dear.hope they put it out quick!

  • Is that the ridge where you can see the greenhouses from the highway?

  • Look at those greenhouses.

  • Evacuation order has been lifted. Residents are returning home now.

  • Nice plants.

  • Hot day in Benbow , looks like we have a forced depo

  • Ever notice how nosey people are. Without the internet you’d all mind your own ps and Q’s. You make yourself look stupid.

  • What r u talking about? Oh you’re assuming it’s my place.get over yourself

  • Is this a registered grow? Looks like more than 2000 square feet of garden space!
    Where does the water to me from for these plants? Does this guy have permitted storage? Domestic use permits don’t apply for this commercial operation. Is the wager storage registered? Did he pay Sacramento wager board for the tier program?
    Did fish and wildlife inspect this site ?
    And how do the culverts look on this parcel? Have they been sized by an engineer?
    By the way it’s illegal in California for a private individual to grow commercially,… does this person have a collective to cultivate for?

    • What… Are you an f-ing cop er something. [edit] The shit is still illegal.

      • Kym can you link all the fires in this zone over the past two years.
        Benbow Mt. Fire two years ago
        1000 gal fuel tank fire
        Trimmers around camp fire
        Generator fire this past winter
        This fire
        Oh and parking lot fire like 4 years ago
        Did I miss any ?

    • Sounds like you don’t get out of Arcata much. Would you get so worked up if all those people could make a living growing mint in their yards? Those plants are actually fire resistant, as opposed to fire tolerant. So as far as fire is concerned, they’re safer than most other plants. People growing weed tend to have more water storage too now-a-days What should these people do that is better? Commute to log some hillside? Like the logging show near Johnsons that is burning. You outrage is misplaced and about twenty years too late.

    • “unacceptable” makes it clear why so many will ignore the new permitting system. you get overzealous bureaucrats trying to layer every possible permit on, then making up a couple new ones. All your hurdles would be silly if applied to a 40 x 50 garden growing cherries, and berries, and tomatoes. Environmentally it’s the same. When it comes down to it you don’t like those people living the American homesteady dream, and making enough money to be comfortable right in their backyard. You wouldn’t hate them if it was basil, right?

  • Hey travelers now you know where it is, thanks for the fotos Kym. You go girl. Fucking sellout

    • Hey bottlebro,they already saw all your shit and everybody else’s.And watch your rude mouth when your talking to her!!

    • There’s online services that show EVERYONES parcels (across the US) from satellite view. They’re updated every 3 months and are quite detailed. They go back to 2007.

      Get over it.

    • For heaven’s sakes, every news service is posting photos of the fire that show the gardens around it. Don’t be silly. Just go on Google Earth. The photos of much bigger gardens are available to everyone.

  • You and Hank should be held personally liable if anything happens to thems folks in your photos.

    • Every square inch of Humboldt county has been photographed from the air and those photos are all available on the internet. The idea that anyone’s garden is a secret is an delusion.

      • Ed is right. That whole zone can be seen from the road and freeway. Law inforcement never follows up on a fire. Is that the old Bee Anderson house. ? You are fine replant.

      • [edit] So many dumb rednecks out there think the entire town believes that they somehow made their fortune with a stump grinding business,…

    • Drive around anywhere in Sohum and you can see plants from the road, a rip off doesn’t need these photos to locate something to steal.

    • Just get to Humboldt??

      • Well said…This is a very old argument. I haven’t heard it in years.

        • Does it make it right? When was the last time you posted a pic like this?

          • And just because an argument is old, does not make it invalid. You are old, but still count.

          • I don’t know because I don’t keep track of them. If a photo is newsworthy and includes marijuana gardens (note:there is no address with the photo just a general area), I post it. I’ve done it in the past and I’ll do it in the future.

            • You could have zoomed in on the pic then posted it, would definitely suck to have a robbery or worse on your conscious because some whacko sees an opportunity while the property owners are vulnerable, I too partially agree with bottlebro, but it’s your right to post the picture along with whatever else is in it. Great reporting as always kym!

  • Obviously the two of you know nothing about google earth. You guys think you are hiding your grows in the hills, think again.

  • Google that shit,I did I saw folks right up in their face.we saw our old place.so if your worried about THE PHOTOS for all to see TO LATE!!

    • For a small monthly fee, you can subscribe to TerraServer and get real time satellite imagery.

      No need for drones, its all at our fingertips.

  • Yea I comprehend your rules and regs. Genius over here called me “iq, less”. Third grade should have taught you better. Just saying, a real time photo, this time of year, is dangerous for these people. Kym knows better.

    • I know it can be terrifying to see photos of one’s neighborhood published on the internet. But this is old news now. The images have been available for years. Go on Google maps and see what there is available. The gardens in Benbow look small.

      I’m sorry this worried you but this genie’s long out of the bottle, bro.

      • The oldness of the argument has nothing to do with how correct it is. You are a snoop a spy and disconnected from humanity. Just because you can see google maps’ images from 2 years ago does not make it right. “Get used to it?” Notions like this lead down very dangerous slopes. You are not a journalist. You are a snoop.

        • It’s news when it’s somebody else. It’s snooping when it hits close to home. I’m sorry that you are uncomfortable with this but if I didn’t post photos of a fire I wouldn’t be reporting on my community.

          • First 2 photos were great. Admit it. You loved the aerial shot with the grows at the bottom. Why didnt you give a credential to the photo? Who took it? Im guessing my tax dollars paid for it.

            • Wow thanks bottlebro, to the non-interested observer like myself after seeing photographs and story about a dangerous and threatening wildfire I probably noticed some irregular landscaping as I surveyed around photograph to see what else was endangered by the fire. I could not tell what it was and I honestly do not see any certainly greenhouses. The only one bringing attention to the situation is YOU. After seeing your response, I did look at the picture closer and maybe you'[re right. Kym is reporting the news and please keep up the good work.

            • I thought it was evident since that update was from Cal Fire and it was from an aerial photo but I added a caption to be clear. Yes, I did love the aerial shot. It did a great job of showing what was happening at the fire. (And I didn’t notice the gardens until someone pointed it out. Was that you? I wasn’t looking for them. I was looking for the structures that might be lost to the fire.)

              • Would you post pics of women leaving an abortion clinic. Would you post schedules of armored vehicles. Do you post names and faces of juvenile crime victims. Hopefully the answer is no. Instead of taking down the picture, you reply with the “everybody else is doing it” defense. Then you say the argument is old. Well so is the first amendment. Then you said that you simply didn’t notice the small grows. To me, that is an admission that if you had seen them, you would not have published the photo. At the very least, it shows your poor judgement and vetting as a jouranlist. Then, you had the audacity to suggest criminals should go after bigger grows. Theives are traditionally lazy opportunists, and this stems my concern. Sure satellite surveillance is available to all; one could even fly a drone. That is different than abusing your power as a journalist. You posted this on a heavily trafficked news source, in haste, without true concern for our community. You defended your actions by pleading: 1. That you were ignorant of the content you posted 2. That these community members don’t deserve privacy becuase their gardens are small. You are usually on point, but your ego has led to sloppiness. On Aug 4th, one day prior, a weed related home invasion( *actually murder/suicide not necessarily weed related)(** actually actually, both crimes had black trucks and the comments have since been deleted.)happened, and you reported the wrong location. A commenter expressed his frustration saying that there were two roads with essentially the same name and you got it wrong. He went on to say that he did not want his neighborhood to be associated the crime. You responded immediately. The fire is out. If you haven’t realised, you have admitted that you messed up. Do the right thing and take the picture down.

                • I’m sorry you feel so troubled by this. I’ve discussed posting photos like this with multiple people for years beginning when I worked for LoCO. I came to a place where I feel comfortable with what I do. I doubt you are going to come up with an argument to dissuade me after so many discussions about this and similar situations but I’m still willing to discuss with you in hopes you can at least come to an understanding that I thought about this type of thing before and am not just lightly throwing this out here.

                  First, I am not replying with the everybody else is doing it defense. I am telling you that you live in a different world than the one where people who lived up dirt roads did not have to worry about what others saw on their property. It is like you are insisting that horses have the right away on 6 lane freeway. This is not the world we live in.

                  Second, as to the not noticing the grows, if I had noticed them, I would have posted the photo anyway. I just was pointing out that you were the main reason that most people were even noticing the gardens. I’m sorry that you feel that I have poor judgement. It seems that you have very odd standards because the other local news sites also felt they needed to post this photo. But it certainly is your right to boycott me and find another source that is more in line with your beliefs.

                  Third, I am not defending posting the photo because the grows are small. I’m defending posting the photo because it has news value AND no one but a few folks who are unaware of modern technology thinks a photo is a good way for ripoffs to find a grow. On Google maps, which is available to everyone, you can easily follow roads and determine how to get to a place. A static photo identified as being in Blue Rock Road area is not easily identifiable or easy to track to a specific grow. I don’t think lazy ripoffs are going to be reading my site, see those mom and pop sized grows and choose them over large greenhouse grows found on Google maps with directions that can be printed out.

                  I’m trying to address each point you make in order. And I find myself at your accusation that my ego has led to sloppiness. However, I’m not sure if you are saying that because I have an inflated ego I failed to realize there were two Homestead Roads in the Blocksburg area or if you are saying that I fixed that error properly then, but now I’m refusing to “fix” the posting of the photo above now because my ego is inflated. Or something else. (I don’t understand the murder/suicide reference at all.) Because I’m unsure, I’ll leave this unanswered.

                  I understand that you are uncomfortable with this photo. I’m sorry. I don’t like my readers to be unhappy but the photo has value as news. I will not remove it.

        • Terraservee gives you daily satellite imagery. Only people living under rocks still use Google.

          The Humboldt county planning department uses this real time data constantly.

          Get with the times bottlebro

        • Obviously, My dear Watson...

          The column of smoke was the dead give-away! No fire, no scrutiny.

  • Just wanted to say thank you to Cal-Fire and any other departments that responded to the fire yesterday. Watched the thing blow up and the hammering put on it from the bombers and helicopters knocked it down quick. Awesome flying guys.

  • Its ridiculous that you are taking abuse for covering this, Kym. Thanks for doing your job so well and keeping all of us informed…and for dealing with some of the guys with such grace. Anyone who doesn’t think his place and grows haven’t been photographed by satellites on an ongoing basis for all the world to see on any computer is not dealing with reality. The world is constantly changing, and so is living in this community. We have to change with it…hopefully, with some intelligence!

    • Thanks, Marcia. I do care about growers and don’t want to endanger mom and pops but I deal with Google maps so frequently it didn’t occur to me that anyone would be shocked by overhead views (and I have to admit I was so focused on the fire that I didn’t look at the surrounding gardens.)

  • Hugo Phuckurselph

    Thank you Kym you are a star, keep up the great work. You’ve been around here long enough and know how to deal with these self-important, ego driven adolescent comments you receive. I always say to bad humility does grow like weed around here, because a lot of people could use some.Peace.

  • So glad the fire is out.no lives lost.and it sure could have been alot worse.thanks to all the Emergency folks,good job as usual you rock!!!

  • Hello beautiful Kym Kemp, OMG!! spotter plane, Fire fighter, 2 bomber planes , A helicopter, and Benbow residence , Thank you for ALL your help with putting out the dangerous fire that threatened so many lives and homes yesterday on Blue Rock and Benbow area.. I will be forever grateful for all of your hard work the continued fire fighter still on site to making sure that this fire doesn’t flare up with the dry drought and windy area since I live a mile away. Fire is Very scary and dangerous. . We are bless no live were lost and many homes saved!! Thank you dearly. Sincerely Brigette Brannan aka Brigette Marie Terry Couveau HUGS GRATEFUL

  • So bottlebro,you’d rather not know their coming to your place?and so if she didn’t let you know and you got shredded you’d be pissed she didn’t warn you??when a convoy gathers,everyone see’s it.and neighbors pass things along,it used to be by CB..I still have.my handle

  • Not worried about it

    Thank you Kym for the always wonderful reporting and a big GIANT THANK YOU to the firefighters that saved my house and all my neighbors homes. I’m so sorry for my neighbors, but it could have been so much worse.

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