[UPDATE 4:15 p.m.] Fire Burning a Structure Near Alder Drive in Fortuna

[Photo by Stefanie Ambrosini]

A house and fence are on fire as of 3:30 p.m. on Alder Drive in Fortuna. Multiple fire departments are responding including Fortuna Fire. Scanner traffic indicates firefighters are trying to keep another home from catching on fire.

The Incident Commander has requested more engines from other fire departments–Cal Fire, Rio Dell, and Loleta–as part of a mutual aid agreement.

UPDATE 4:15 p.m.: Video below by Stefanie Ambrosini was taken soon after the fire broke out.



  • well let’s all speculate on how it was started.

  • loleta fire just said they were “entering the fortuna district”.

    i’m in hate of the fire seasons, especially where my home is located.

  • ANAEROBIC STUPIDITY-actions or thoughts done by people who are brain dead and require no oxygen to function.

  • So, CalFire is also responding. I live in rural Humboldt and have to pay a yearly fire tax to support CalFire. It is because we have a volunteer fire dept and will need to depend on CalFire to assist for a fire. All rural properties in Calif have to pay. From my understanding, Fortuna residents and other cities; Eureka, Arcata, etc. don’t pay it. For me, it’s about $220 a year, but more depending on your property. This tax is BS anyway, but hearing this makes it even worse. So tired of California’s taxes.

    • Livin’ Easy – Agencies have mutual aid agreements that cover these issues. In a nutshell – when an agency has an incident that overwhelms its internal resources, other nearby agencies respond to assist. Its not based on tax boundaries or who pays what. Its based on an emergency need and will ALWAYS be the nearest suitable resource that is sent. Depending on the mutual aid agreement, these agencies might bill the originating district for the time and resources deployed. This makes firefighting safer for the firefighters, and more effective for your community. Calfire’s engine was closest, so therefore, it was sent.

      Now about that darn fee…. Calfire’s fee is a cost recovery caused solely by so many people moving into rural areas and burdening what was originally a forestry agency with new issues of medical, rescue and the higher costs of fire supression in the urban/wildland interface. Calfire responds to over 455,000 emergency calls annually. Of that 455,000, only 5,400 are the wildland fires the agency was created to deal with. There was never any intent by the state to provide EMS and rescue service, 911 dispatch, or structure fire fighting. Those additional services are vastly more expensive to equip for and support than the agency’s original directive. The original forestry management agency has just been forced into it, and unlike the city folks, you’ve never had to pay for that. Now you do.

      The option, of course, is that a community forms its own self funded fire district and buys the expensive equipment and provides the staffing to run it, as well as the 911 and support services that Calfire provides 24/7. Volunteers may provide the fire fighting, as in Fortuna, but support services are typically contracted through Calfire as a cost saving measure by combining all the local agencies into one system.

      So the fire fee isnt an “unfair tax”. It covers just some of the costs for services that communities didnt have the foresight to provide on their own. It offsets part of the exorbitant costs associated with firefighting in the urban/wildland intermix. A small district cant afford a $12,000 an hour airtanker.

      Blame it all on decades of building homes in traditionally wildland areas. Add in the costs of equipping for fire with narrow roads, densely overgrown property, lack of hydrants, and many other issues. Add the newby residents’ demand for medical rescues and other emergency needs (as though they’re still in the big city) and you’ve got the prime driving factors to that fee.

      To me $200-300 a year is far cheaper than the cost to have your own district provide the emergency response, and the fire losses you’d see if Calfire went back to its old ways.

      But those freakin’ DMV increases… there’s something to hate.

    • Remember, it’s no tax, but a fee.

  • i pay $75 in lovely loleta by the sea, and happy to do it.

    1:30am, i’m in the back of my mobile home going to bed.
    i hear pounding on my front sliding glass door.
    as i walk towards the front i start to hear yelling “fire! get out!”

    i glance out my kitchen window and see just bright orange then hear the explosions…
    sally pounding saved me by pounding on my door until i heard her, while there was a fire blowing up & explosions 20ft away from her at my front door.

    thank you sally! you saved me and the dogs.
    the loleta fd told me just before they left ‘if not for my neighbors using hoses to spray water on my place until they arrived i’d have lost my home, too.
    so thank you george, syd, and sally for that.

    there was a man asleep in the rv, where you see the pop-out. when the arsonist threw the incendiary device through the open bathroom vent.
    the arsonist (she) knew this man well, knew this mans habits – that he wore ear plugs when he slept, and knew he went to bed at 10:30 every night, & knew he was in there deeply asleep.
    sounds like attempted murder to me.

    accelerants were smelled by firefighters, the arson investigator was scheduled to come inspect, then suddenly canceled by the HCSD w/o being given a reason.
    the woman who did that arson helped clean up the big fire mess and then moved into that spot she now had cleared off with her best friend w/a big 5th wheel.
    several months later her best friend caught her stealing from her and threw her out.
    while packing her some crap and throwing a whole lot of her crap and garbage all over she was yelling threats at her now ex-best friend, smacking the 5th wheel with an axe handle, cussin’; she was just livid about being caught stealing, i guess.

    one threat i heard her yell at her ex-bestie “i’m gonna burn you out, too. don’t think i won’t. i don’t care. you will burn down”.

    i was in the window closest to the rv and she turned her anger on me and said “i don’t care. you’re next. i’ll burn you down next. i don’t care.”

    i didn’t know that all this was being recorded by her ex-bestie hiding inside the 5th wheel.

    i went to court and got a restraining order.
    and i wait for fire.


    ya, i’ll gladly pay these fire taxes and or fees.

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