Cal Fire Engine 1267 overturned while navigating a steep curve just above Old Hindley Ranch road, near Honeydew this afternoon. Division Chief Charles Hanes said that at this time the cause of the accident was unknown, although brake failure seems likely. Three Cal Fire personnel were transported by ambulance to Redwood Memorial Hospital with minor injuries. Hanes says that the crew was fine, just "shaken up."
Engine 1267 belongs to the Mattole Station and was one of several engines that responded to a fire on Landregren Road. The fire began around 2:30 p.m. Local residents reported that the flames were "almost burning up the solar panels" on the hill above their house, and that they saw wildlife running for safety. The fire was promptly extinguished with the aid of a helitack crew which doused it with fire retardant. Ian Sigmund of the Honeydew Volunteer Fire Department served as Incident Commander. Several HVFD crew members also responded to direct traffic around the site of where the engine overturned.
09-24-2013, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies assisted by the Cannabis Eradication and Reclamation Team (C.E.R.T.) eradicated a large marijuana cultivation site on Barnum Timber Property, Garberville area. Deputies located and eradicated 9,056 growing marijuana plants ranging in height from 4’ to 6’. Deputies found rodenticides, fertilizers and environmental damage caused by clearing of brush and timber, along with a stream diversion.
On 09-25-2013, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies assisted by the C.E.R.T. eradicated a large marijuana cultivation site again on Barnum Timber and adjacent private property in the Garberville area. Deputies located and eradicated 5,717 growing marijuana plants ranging in height from 4’ to 6’ tall. They again found rodenticides, fertilizers and environmental damage caused by clearing of brush and timber, along a with stream diversion. They also found a trail of marijuana leaves which they followed to a residence. A search warrant was obtained for the residence. Upon serving the search warrant on the residence deputies discovered the residence was being exclusively used to process and dry marijuana. Deputies located and seized 600 pounds of marijuana from the residence. No one was in the residence when the search warrant was served.
On 09-26-2013, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies assisted by the C.E.R.T. eradicated a large marijuana cultivation site on Benbow State Park property and adjacent private property. Deputies located and eradicated 6,750 growing marijuana plants at this location along with a stream diversion and other environmental damage. The plants at this location ranged in size from 3’ to 7’ tall.
The estimated value of the total marijuana seized is conservatively 21 million dollars.
Cal Fire Captain Eric Ayers of Mattole Station doesn't want another call like the one his crew responded to in July of this year. The victim crawled "quite a ways" along the river bar and then was transported an additional eight miles to the county road before emergency personnel were contacted. He had a severe neck injury and "should not have been moved in the first place." Roughly six hours elapsed between the time of injury and the time first responders were able to treat him. Ayers suspects the victim was involved in some illegal activity, and he doesn't care.
“Our mission is to provide public safety to the citizens of this state. We're not in the realm of investigating illegal grows. We respond to medical or fire emergencies. It's not our intention to bring police action on anyone.”
If you're on your way out to the hills with an ice chest full of groceries and you get stuck behind one of those big ol' RVs with quippy names (The Voyage, The View, Wanderer) that insists on taking in every falling leaf and majestic redwood at 10 mph under the speed limit without pulling over to let you pass, you have two options:
You can, like your groceries, lose your cool and try to pass the RV on the scant stretch of road that's almost straight, one hand on your jiggling steering wheel and the other waving a majestic middle finger, scaring the tourists and whoever might be coming toward you in the opposite direction.
Or you can turn on the radio, find a station you like and play pretend. You're not a frustrated rural commuter with 20 miles of switchbacks between you and a waiting refrigerator. You're an explorer, an adventurer in a convoy of fellow adventurers making its way into the trackless wilderness, supplies and sundries strapped to our vehicles. None of us know what awaits us in the great unknown, where natives openly exhibit their unfriendliness by way of bullet-pocked signs and “no trespassing” notices. Reassured by the sight of our comrades ahead and behind we push relentlessly forward, propelled by a quenchless zest for discovery.
Remember: For us it's home. For the tourists it's a place they'd love to call home.
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