[UPDATE 8:30 p.m.] 15 Acre Fire West of of Willow Creek Burning in Marijuana Grow, Mobile Home Destroyed

Cal Fire helicopter

Image of Cal Fire helicopter taken August 11, 2016. [Photo by Kym Kemp]

According to preliminary details from  KMUD, one mobile home burned and six other structures are threatened in a estimated 15 acre fire west of Willow Creek that was reported about 5:30 p.m. The fire is spreading quickly.

According to scanner traffic, this a “large marijuana grow operation.” Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office which is on the scene reports that there is no one on the property though there are a number of vehicles.

UPDATE 7:25 p.m.:

Smoke from Summit Fire near Willow Creek

Smoke from Summit Fire near Willow Creek as seem from the air. [Photo by Mark Harris, local attorney and pilot]

UPDATE 7:37 pm.: “We have citizens attempting to access the fire area and the grows,” stated unknown personnel on the scanner. Fire currently at 11 to 12 acres, 0% containment, according to an update on the scanner.

UPDATE 7:44 p.m.: Fog is rolling in and tankers need to head to base, according to scanner traffic.

UPDATE 8:30 p.m.
The citizens have left the area. But most importantly Oscar 1 has been called. All firefighters are being held on scene or not allowed to leave. All leave is canceled. There is not a lot of resources and they need every hand to be ready to help if any more fires break out in the Humboldt County Del Norte Unit or to be there for medical aid calls.

UPDATE 9 p.m.: Cal Fire Summitt



  • I heard it on my scanner the fire fighters called it in gave the police the coordinates . They also were saying it’s a big one . Grow.

  • I hope it s a cartel grow ,and not locals

    • What’s the difference [edit]? It’s a fire, doesn’t diminish anything if it’s cartel or a local. Maybe make you feel better about hating Mexicans? [edit]

    • I bet you anything it is a local grow.

    • The Land Guy Is The REAL Bad Guy In This Scenario!

      the odds are white people own the property. the land in this area was sold off by the timber companies. they have been subdivided and the area is now starting to compete w/ Titlow Hill for the most grows in the area. this is most likely NOT a cartel grow, but more than likely just typical white growers. everyone has big pieces of land in the area, so the grows are big. the bigger the lot = more pot. u can thank the” Land Guy’s” for selling all this pristine forested land to the pot growers. the “Land People” have made a fortune and are one the biggest reason Humboldt has over 8,000 confirmed grows. as the timber companies go out of business they sell off their land. the Land Guy got his hands on many 400, 600, 900 acres plots of land. he then sold them to growers who subdivided them into lots in the 160 acre range. now one 900 acre plot of land could have 6 separate mega grow. it’s the land realtors that have created this Green Rush. if it wasn’t for them selling so much land we would not have the problems we have today.

      • You are right. But this was not “pristine” land. I used to know it. It was terribly treated by Simpson Timber. There were some horrendous clearcuts out there with major erosion and some places that never regrew trees. Simpson reorganized to be Green Diamond and sold these lands off…to a speculator who worked w/ Charlie to subdivide and sell them to people who they knew exactly what would happen. Mega-grow country. Should get cleaned out anyways. Titlow and RV at least has some families who built homes and give a crap. Back of 3 Creeks is all about the money.

      • That’s not a very well thought out rant. What it comes down to is supply and demand. Charlie is just the middleman. Somehow even though it seems like we are at or near the end of ‘the bubble’ there is a lot, and I mean a lot of demand for rural grow properties. It’s very difficult to be a person living in these areas with all the craziness going on (and fires) but if there is anything to be done about it, it’s got to be the responsibility of the county supervisors, I guess. Some kind of rule or incentive to keep these tracts of land from being subdivided. There is about to be another big one up top of Brannan. So it’s not about the land man, it’s about the rules in place, imo.

  • One property crime compounded by another. Late arrivals looki-loos or goodie grabbers?

  • If it’s a big one without a permit it needs to go, anyway.

  • No bueno, another hot day tommorrow

  • Henchman Of Justice

    Wonder if its connected to guy getting shot earlier over yellow truck theft…

  • What is oscar 1?

  • Curious Curmudgeon

    “Oscar 1” is a staffing level order meaning that all personnel assigned to an incident stay at the fire scene (or fire camp) until they are cleared to return to quarters or released to go off duty.

    “Oscar-2” is one step below that, with all personnel to remain on duty until released, regardless of their schedule.

    Those are Cal Fire status levels, not necessarily applicable to Forest Service or Local Government agencies.

    • You’re mistaken. All the number associated with the “Oscar” signifies is the particular impliment of the current staffing pattern. For instance: “Oscar 1” can be anything from staffing 2 crews per camp 24 hours a day, a dozer 24 hours/day, having a strike team leader on duty at all times, or endless other things. The number has nothing to do with severity or seriousness. We often hear as high as Oscar 11, 12, 13…as new facets of the staffing patterns are implimented.

      • Curious Curmudgeon

        OK Guv’nor thank you for the correction. So the numbers are sequential as time goes on. Do they have a separate series for each Ranger Unit, or Region, or??

        • You’re mistaken. All the number associated with the “Oscar” signifies is the particular impliment of the current staffing pattern. For instance: “Oscar 1” can be anything from staffing 2 crews per camp 24 hours a day, a dozer 24 hours/day, having a strike team leader on duty at all times, or endless other things. The number has nothing to do with severity or seriousness. We often hear as high as Oscar 11, 12, 13…as new facets of the staffing patterns are implimented.

          Staffing patterns can be implemented at the local level (ranger unit) or regional (CNR: CA Northern Region). This was a local staffing pattern.

  • Is the red sky to the east of Eureka from this fire?

  • Got ourselves a firebug

  • From CalFire:
    Firefighters are battling a 20 acres fire off Three Creeks Summit and Bair Rd., 8 miles west of Willow Creek (Humboldt County). #SummitFire
    Approximate location:

  • Henchman Of Justice

    How about instead of illegally taxing only habitable structures, Cal Fire tax the “cause”?

    • Fire Folk here in Mendo told me that your scenario is how it used to be prior to this last “habitable structure” tax. This tax is being challenged, and it is advised (by the State) to write PAID UNDER PROTEST on your payment and keep a copy. Supposedly, if the law suit settles in our favor, there will be at least a partial refund. Personally, it’s hard for me to envision government returning money…. but that’s just me. I write it down, I save the paper, I dream. af

  • Honeydew Bridge Chump

    I hope those people can save their grow.
    They should be there cutting down all the surrounding trees, not running away.

    The fire smoke is great for clones and the 08 fires made some great wine in Trinity.

    Praying all the plants make it through.

    • Oh yes that should absolutely be the priority saving the grow.

      • Not always but often…
        Pot = money spent locally = business and taxes on money spent.
        Federal income taxes really contribute very little to our community. Local sales taxes are important and nobody ever talks about how much money is generated that way, especially compared to other places.

  • Save the dope
    Dope lives matter

  • Boy if I was a firefighter I wouldn’t be in much of a rush on this one certainly don’t risk your life for that crap . Just one opinion here .

    • To save other homes from burning down? Good thing ur not a firefighter. They’re not there saving pot plants.
      And the majority of fires are not started at grow scenes, hell pge contractors caused the butte fire that killed many and used tons of public resources. Should we then let a pge building just burn down cuz they hired inept people and also blew up a san Bruno neighborhood by not doing upkeep on pipes?

      If it was a vineyard would you say the same? Most vineyards get water from a huge horrible illegal water diversion thats decimated salmon populations and fishing jobs called potter valley dam. Legalization will make it a viable taxable crop that will then be protected by public resources like any other money making crop. So in the future yes you will see them protecting the plants.

      • You must not know that area. No homes. Everything is huge gardens w/ a cabin or trailer for the hired hand to sleep before he goes pull tarp. Everybody out at the end of 3 Creeks has multiple properties. Don’t worry about them. These are not your mom n pops but commercial groups and investments based on weed profits. Yes- protect people. But No- do not take any risks with our wonderful firefighters to protect huge gardens in an agro-industrial zone.

        • Actually I do know that area and there are multiple homes out three creeks with families with kids. I have been there.
          Redwood Valley as well has many homes. Maybe you don’t know the area, do you even live in humboldt?
          There are also huge slash piles, which are a huge fire danger obviously. Growers didn’t do that.

          • I’m sorry to hear anybody put their family at the back of 3 Creeks amongst the wild west mega grows. I know the area well, drove all those Simpson roads when access was very limited, saw Dennis Hunter’s scene go up and down and know the story on quite a few of the old Indian Field properties and now the new subdivision. So I’m thinking maybe you are faking w/ the comment about “families” being there or you are talking beginning of 3 Creeks, Eagles Nest, Cedar Ed or over on the east side of the creeks (Brannan Mt. access- another HUGE grow neighborhood now that you have me mentioning it!) Or maybe you are making stuff up like people do to make all growers sound wonderful and small? They aren’t! Titlow and RV I agree- families there and some good folks not greedy just crowded together but people who have built homes. I don’t speak against them ever. But I wonder about your position when you take offense to mine- Let’s not risk any danger to firefighters to protect the profits of huge weed grows, especially in an area of very large grows and minimal occupancy. I hope the minions and workers are safe too! But the mega-profits? No, I definitely don’t care and the firefighters shouldn’t either.

            • Me and my family live there asshole. Do you know anyone on brannan/three creeks? Yes the new neighborhood is crazy but the rest of the area is good people.

        • I live up Old Three Creeks with my children. We are homesteaders who live here all year. The thought of losing our home, livestock and way of life is very scary. You really should not clump everyone together because of where they live. We are very appreciative for the firefighters who are trying their best to protect our home. And for the record, we own only one parcel of land.

      • Grapes are legal substances that doesn’t usurp law enforcement manpower and financial resources and doesn’t draw criminal element.

        • Yes I said when legalization happens pot will be protected like grapes, and the firefighters are not out there saving pot gardens right now period.
          I think you’re insulting those amazing folks by implying that and misusing my words. And even if their weren’t homes out there they’d still be fighting it. Duh

        • The vineyards in Mendo are staffed with a LOT of illegal immigrants. So you might want to take another look at that. Their medical needs are met through the Emergency Rooms, their housing doesn’t qualify as shelter, and whether or not they represent a criminal element…who knows?
          But this happens: ICE or its agents (like the Sheriff) show up before the last paycheck is written. If that happened to me, I could become a criminal element, too. af

  • How can people be so heartless about fires? They are scary as hell! Who cares what’s burning. If it doesn’t get stopped then it spreads. Thanks Cal Fire and all volunteer departments for trying to keep our communities safe!

  • Um what land wasn’t horribly stolen from natives? Bet ur standing on some right now. Most areas in our county are cursed in that way. The timber industry has been beyond awful in the last 20 years, totally agree. The slash piles from the clear cuts in that area are crazy too!

    Look if you want humboldt to be a depressed economic county with no small biz or opportunities then sure hate on growers and run them out. HSU would become the main incone source, if they stayed open.
    You will end up with a county truly full of meth heads like every other place where there is no industry left.
    Please its not going to help to hate, it’s far from perfect all over the county but at least we have tons of small biz, good schools, etc.
    Read some info about what it’s like elsewhere. Most places where folks make lots of money they don’t invest back into their communities.
    Some folks see those plants as money that won’t be spent in the county, not all growers jet set everywhere. You’d probably be surprised at some of the awesome projects quietly funded by these folks in our communities, even folks from 3 creeks.

    • I guess this comment is one of those “all growers are always good because all growers are always doing something good and so no growers can ever be bad because all growers are good no matter how much weed they have grown and at whatever environmental expense they have caused because weed is good and growers are good and none of that is ever bad so they deserve to reap millions of dollars and many properties to keep blowing up more huge scenes because they are good”? I’m not surprised. This county is full of such simple, happy yet wrong thoughts. It got us to the mess we are in. But now you think firefighters should take chances with their safety and health to protect those profits?! I disagree. Not all areas are equal. And I’m cool if they take that into account. I’ll even go further now that y’all are pushing me- I do not want to see my tax dollars being wasted in saving huge pot farms. There! I think we can all agree on saving lives and wishing good health to our firefighters.

      • I really don’t think any of the firefighters are ditching around greenhouses or the aircraft were dumping to prevent the spread to any grows. Most certainly not their focus. They’re doing what they do in any area, National Forest, private land or otherwise. Suppression. Knock down. Mop up. Go home tired. I don’t want my tax dollars spent saving McMansions in manzanita groves or ocean fronts where they shouldn’t be built, but like you, nobody gives a fuck about what I think.

  • Any updates today kym? Can’t seem to find anything besides a pic on calfire twitter saying it’s 20 acres, is there anywhere you could direct for up to date info? 🙂

  • Once I come to town you will consider those grows tiny. I offer fair wages benefits , retirement, 401k , ins.We have developed a machine similar to reverse osmosis that takes all smell out of product, this market is going to be a blast, can’t wait , my lobbyist have assured me a green light.

  • The straight poop

    As of this morning a group of individuals from a close by town were by cover of darkness stealing the pot from this site as a skeleton crew of firefighters were manning the night shift. While these weed thief’s were plying their trade the growers showed up to salvage the remains of there product and equipment. From here the outcome could have gone in many directions. From Firefighters being injured or killed intentionally or by accident. Thieves and or growers suffering the same fate. Or, as it happened no one injured at all. Luckilly the latter was the case. The thieves got there truck stuck and it is still at the scene. For whatever reason, may it have been a non-belief in violence or fear of the possible consequences of assaulting the thieves. The growers did not attack. But for hours the thieves milled around the property and tried to free their truck and the pot they stole. Heated exchanges were shouted by all from a distance. Three of the firefighters entered the grow to do what they live to do. Protect the people from harm. They explained that the pot was not their concern. People’s welfare was. Thieves and growers and all the rest of the people. All people. The thieves pulled back but astonishingly did not fully retreat until much later. When they did they carried large full black bags and left their truck behind. The growers also left, their pickup full of tools of the trade. Meanwhile nearly one hundred firefighters where kept from the fire for safety reason’s unable to do there job. Grow or not to grow seems the debate in every comments section. This particular site had many environmental issues. Both thieves and growers alike had at least one tweaker on the team. Lets forget the meth angle on this one. Its a massive problem in every city and walk of life in this nation. I’ve known many growers. Have friends I love grow both in and outdoors. Been a smoker myself. I’ve come to realize all grows are harmful to our great wildlands. Animals whether mildly impacted or killed. Gashes torn into our lands to let the sun in or to create flat spots to grow or access sites erode terribly when not done without thought or planning. I know the timber harvest practices of old have also been guilty of this. Please focus on the issue at hand. And the fertilizers. To my heart they are the worst. They run off countless sites into our priceless creeks then off to our equally valuable rivers, lakes and finally to the life of the planet, the ocean. These fertilizers spawn new aquatic vegitation and cause growth explosions of the existing. Just look at the algae as in our waterways. Once late summer occurrences, the algae now starts it’s wrath the first few weeks the sun shines in summer. Coupled with the loss of water pumped from our tributaries we end up with nasty algae choked waters dangerous to ALL life. Fish, dogs, and even thieves and growers. What’s the answer people? Phillip Morris? That’s what’s coming if you don’t get your shit together. They will use your carelessness against you and layout how they can produce your precious flower without the destruction. It’s coming and it’s coming fast. Figure it out. You figured out how to get five pounds a plant when before one pound was stellar. You figured out how to get two or more runs out of a summer when before one was the norm. There have been countless other innovations that I the non-grower am aware of but all aimed at more weed/money. None I know designed to protect yours, and my greatest assets. Again get your shit together, act like you give a fuck, and solve this giant problem before it doesn’t matter anymore. Please excuse any errors in spelling and punctuation. A writer I am not.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *