Escaped Homeless Encampment Fire Burns Into Bridge by Garberville


[Photo by Kent Scown of Garberville Fire]

A little after 4 a.m., Garberville Fire and Cal Fire responded to a fire under the Carl Carter Bridge that takes Bear Canyon Road across the Eel River by Garberville.

According to Captain Dave Brockman of Cal Fire, a possible warming or cooking fire escaped from a homeless encampment. It not only burned a number of their belongings but it damaged the bridge.

Brockman said that a type of styrofoam insulation material had caught fire and burned up into the joints of the bridge. “County Roads will send someone out today to make sure it didn’t cause any [serious] damage to the bridge,” said Brockman.




  • Is it any wonder more and more people are seeing the transient/homeless as not in need of help but a severe public nuisance. If you lose your job and are suddenly homeless ask for help and resources. From what the transients have said themselves on local news interviews they do not want to abide by laws or the norms of our society.

    • Devils Lettuce Crimes

      Hey Now! We should have better ways of separating out the actual down-on-their-luck don’t-really-want-to-be-there homeless and help them work their way out. There are many ways you can get kicked to the curb and once there it’s a steep climb back to anything! Our compassion gets burned out by the abusive idiots in the bunch but there are also many homeless that deserve basic respect and help. And honestly, there but for the grace of our local (now crumbling) economy it could be many of us!

    • I agree. Social parasites. Plain n simple, but garberville tolerates them.

  • This makes me so mad. …omg the people that want help get it the ones that don’t do things like this …. This could have been someone’s house some of the people out on the sreets don’t care and will start a fire by people’s homes. …not good

  • Me and my bubby tom sarver built that bridge it is made of concrete ,and rebar .fire is not going to hurt it lol.Hi Peg .

    • I believe Shasta Constructors had the contract to build that bridge. what do you mean by stating you and your hubby built that bridge?

  • Down-on-your-luck or not, you can’t trespass on other people’s property and then burn that property up!!! This type of behavior can not be rewarded by allowing it to happen and pretending that it doesn’t exist. The squatters need to find an acceptable place to dwell that doesn’t constitute trespassing, human waste and garbage deposits. Humboldt county law enforcement and elected government officials HELP!

    • Just where exactly would you have them go??? No one wants them, everywhere they go all they hear is Get the F out of here!!!!

  • Taurus Ballzhoff

    The homeless “problem” in SoHum is not that the folks are around, for whatever reason. The problem is that there is no planning, no space designated, no detectable local organized thought about the things that WILL occur every season. AND, the presence of these illegal campers is totally tolerated by the locals! WHY?

    Why do the property owners allow this? Why does the County of Humboldt and Caltrans and EVERYONE ELSE just tolerate the drug camp every year? How bad does it have to get in a place where the transients, perma-campers, and trimsients just arrive and stay as long as they like?
    Do they have to burn down the town, the forest, kill someone prominent, have a riot? What will it take?

    I don’t really care WHY they are here. MY cost to live in SoHum is VERY high, just like yours. I don’t enjoy seeing a massive amount of AFU bums hanging around everywhere! It marginally disrupts and detracts from my experience of living in this beautiful area, but I have become used to it.

    I can’t believe that the citizens of Garberville, so intolerant of outsiders and each other, would sit still and permit a large group of extremely creepy dudes to live on the outskirts of town, and regularly immolate the environment!

    I hope someone has an explanation…

    Meanwhile, perhaps a couple hundred complaints to the HCSD might have an effect… Or, let’s all call the Governor’s office! Yeah, that will work!

    • The property under the bridge is COUNTY property and they won’thandle it! They haven’t even attempted to post no trespassing signs! They live under that bridge because it is SO conviennent to get to town and back to drag all their stuff up and down and that’s why the garbage problem there is so bad. They could fence it off to slow them down. Yes and people do live close around and living on beautiful river front property has now become a scary place to live. I also saw the same Asian man who lived in the motor home that caught the church on fire heading down to the bridge and I thought why is he still in town!!

    • [edit] just because you have hey have a house is mean that you’re better than us

  • Society’s lax attitude to the bums who don’t want to live by any rules has made this problem much worse.

    I’ve heard some say “they have a right to live that way”. Maybe they do, but they don’t have a right to expect us to feed, clothe & house them if they want to be bums. They don’t have a right to trespass on private & public property and trash everywhere they go.

    Let Betty Chin, the Rescue Mission and St Vincent help they legitimate ones who had a bad break and need a hand to get better. Let the bums starve and chase them out of here. Take the children away from the bums, put the mentally ill and the addicts in hospital against their will. If we don’t get tough the problem will only escalate.

    • Taurus Ballzhoff

      And don’t forget, bums, that you can get free medical care, access to the free box, a shower, a sandwich, and a big hug and kiss from the hospital in Goobsterdam. Oh and ask for your free book of matches! Your carton of smokes. A foot massage. We love you in Goobsterdam, bums!

    • How can you state that society is lax towards the bums? If the laws are enforced for trespassing or camping illegally the agency enforcing the laws are sued and these individuals are too often large sums of money.

      There are those who are homeless who want to change their situation and those who do not. Then you have those who believe they are owed everything they take (steal or borrow).

      No matter what the reason, services for the homeless are not available in the rural parts of the county.

      Those who claim they want to help the homeless want to be there way, not by the rules established to get the resources needed. Those feeling they need to assist the homeless, they need to organize as Betty and Eureka Rescue have, but this will not stop what the problems are with individuals not wanting to follow rules of society. Just need a stronger presence of law enforcement that no one is willing to pay for.

  • I tell anyone who plans to visit the redwoods/North Coast is to avoid Garberville/Redway at all cost. It is downright humiliating what has become of So Hum.

    • Thanks buddy. There are still people tying to make a living off of tourisim.

      • Yes. Boycott Garberville Businesses! Be afraid. Be VERY afraid of this sick town.

        • Your answer is to boycott businesses? You see to be using some ‘alt-logic; there pal.

          • My logic is this:

            Goobsterdam refuses to police, organize, clean, or even marginally restrict craziness within it’s borders. There is nowhere to live, and no one can afford to live there, except the persons who camp endlessly on public and private land and spend their time terrorizing the public and attempting to burn down the town and the forest.

            The only people who support Goobsterdam are the attendant growers, who can apparently afford ANYTHING and love to come to your town to spin donuts and get drunk and crash their pickups into things, and all those crazy old ladies who love the hospital cause they were born there. In 1932. Oh and the realtors and liquor store owners and assembled business people, since they are paid in gold to jack the prices of everything and since they get fat selling you beer, cups of coffee and $15 sandwiches… Cash only!!

            Garberville is not a nice or a sensible place. It operates beyond the pale of common decency and reason, while high, very high. I can’t go there in summer, as I will suffer no transients or transient cannabis intoxication. It might have been nice 50 years ago. I don’t remember…

            I saw Berkeley in the 60’s. Garberville is not Berkeley.

            Garberville is ugly, nasty, and not in a good way…

            Don’t go there, don’t spend your money there. Garberville is not safe for women and children, tourists, or ANYONE else, and it is full of some VERY creepy dudes… Not to mention the toothless and chronically stoned losers with smartphones who spout off illiterately on the internet while misspelling common 4-5 letter words…

            Garberville is just an attractive nuisance. It should be shut down, boarded up. Blockaded like Bell Springs Cowpath during the slide…

            Put up an orange plastic fence, until December, around the whole town. Thanks!

            • Absolutely unrealistic troll ranting, and I don’t ever use that term, yet anything else I’m thinking after reading this would be edited!!!
              You, commenter, are f*****g f*****h and * p***e ** s**t. I** *** a b****t ** ****s***l ** * k**w w***e ** f**d***!!!!

  • If you dontlikeit leave and quit diss n my town i dont see you out there trying to clean it up come out and help ercp there the only people trying to make a difference

  • shawn the fisherman

    Lets be honest. If I were homeless, Cold first thing I would do is start a fire to keep warm. The problem is most are messed up from sniffing glue and all reasoning is lost somewhere between Arcata and Sohum. Can see why they drag poor animals into their situation, Keep you warm at night, Bark at fellow home deprived campers.

  • Taurus Ballzhoff

    There you go, good GBV attitude…

  • Whatever happened with the fire that burned the church? Was anyone ever arrested for it?

  • Oregon built fences around every underpass so the homeless don’t sleep their or live. It’s working. I don’t see homeless wandering or begging,or bothering folks shopping.i wasn’t asked for spare change,whatever that is these days.amazing what a little Brain power will think of!!! HAPPY 4TH ALL BE SAFE

  • Denou…whatever…..your words are bullshit on so many levels. Write your name. Nasty? You’re the one who is nasty. Lots of hard working people trying to just make a living and offering good products and services. For everyone. Just trying to make a living. Your point of view is just …well, nasty. Makes me wonder who you run around with and do you even live here. I hope not. Troll.

    • Taurus Ballzhoff

      Thanks for your input, Bunny. Level as usual.

      Lived here for years. LOVE the farmer’s market! Big kiss honey!

    • He can’t live there or he’d know about the volunteer firemen getting out of bed to put out fires and help car accident victims, he’d know about the musicians that show up every Friday at the hospital to play music, the Feet First Dancers, the bake sales that support non-profits, the folks at the Community Cornerstone, the charming little stores like Blue Moon, the delicious restaurants like Cecil’s, the workers at Redway Tire who stay to fix your flat a half hour past closing time and say, “there won’t be a charge.” Nope, he’s not a local in any sense of the word.

      • Taurus Ballzhoff

        SoHum address. Humboldt County taxpayer. Dislike Goobsterdam.

        “Wasn’t born there, perhaps I’ll die there, nowhere else to go” Eric Burden

        • Perhaps the fault is in the eye of the beholder…

          Don’t get me wrong. I know there are problems. I report on them.

          But, there is so much right there also. I didn’t mention the Friday Farmer’s Market, the incredible community events at the Mateel, the short jaunt to the ocean, the redwoods, the golden eastern hills, Ruth Lake, and big festivals just down the road.

          • Taurus Ballzhoff

            It is impossible to measure the experience of others. We can’t control other people’s behavior, but we can control our own.

            It is possible to clean up a mess.

            If listing good things about the area, list Redheaded Blackbelt. My favorite news-site! Redway in spring and fall… and even winter!

            I also enjoy the folks at Chautauqua. I love Kome in Fortuna.

            • It is possible to clean up a mess. Especially when so many folks are already doing it right. Chautauqua’s new store is a gem in Garberville. The tiny airport, the horse statue at the Gettiup, the Eel River Cafe’s sign, the town clock, Tranquility Flowers, the local artisan store, the Community Credit Union…I know it is easy to focus on the problems but it is important to savor the joys.

      • Lost Croat Outburst

        That’s right Kymster. Sounds like a Hardin acolyte.

  • You can find a dozen or so right now on the Sprowel offramp——“big red”, ” the African man with the black lab” and her other meth buddies getting ready to torch the community with tweak and fire. Sit at Dazeys for 10 minutes and watch the “business” being conducted in the bushes of the offramp. They wander from the two motels, gas station and restaurant back to the “homes” on the offramp. Because it is allowed. I would be very concerned if I had a home there. I do not go into businesses in town where they allow transients to hang about. And yes, there are many hardworking businesses in town and this situation does not make it any easier. Whatever system they are using at the property that they called “hippy hill” seems to be working.

    • Taurus Ballzhoff

      “Motels”?? You mean the drug supermarkets?

      I love to watch the tourists driving 15 mph on the 101 after they stop off at the Humboldt House.


      “Hippie Hill” was supposed to have been shut down last year! You mean the “new hippies” are back? Watch out, the hippies have little pistols and big knives. They look peaceful but carry weapons!

      These people are why no one wants to work at your “hospital”.


  • Wellll, At least I know where to release the coons I catch in my havahart trap.

  • Boycotting Garberville won’t solve anything. Most local business owners are on record as being opposed to transients, and their vandalism, trespass, and other crime. Garberville is still such a small town, you can actively support your friends and neighbors by spending money at their businesses. Too many to mention, but there are people on every block of G’ville’s retail area that I love to support. Rather than boycott an entire zip code, I would challenge anyone to pick a business, at random, and try talking to the owner. You might be surprised by what they have to say.

  • I remember when the post office was open 24 hours a day.

  • william nicholson

    what’s funny about these comments , no one mentions how there are more vacant houses than homeless. can’t blaim the poor for that.

  • Pingback: Trouble in Paradise: Scary Homeless People in the Emerald Triangle | The Homeless Quandary

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