Tuesday, September 15, 2020

UPDATE: Slash Pile Fire Burning in Arcata

Posted By on Tue, Sep 15, 2020 at 10:04 AM

click to enlarge A slash fire in Arcata last night. It is continuing to burn. - AFD
  • AFD
  • A slash fire in Arcata last night. It is continuing to burn.
UPDATE:

The Arcata Fire District states the smoldering slash pile on West End Road, which is being allowed to burn down, was still too large to extinguish by water as of 4 p.m. and the situation is being monitored. “Firefighters will continue to check in during this period as well,” the AFD release states. “The business has a water truck at the scene to keep the areas around the pile wet. As of 4 pm, the fire is still too large to extinguish with water and we will reassess the situation tomorrow morning.”

PREVIOUS:

A slash pile fire that started sometime last night on the 4300 block of West End Road is continuing to burn this morning, causing a large amount of smoke in the Arcata area and occasionally flaming up.

According to the Arcata Fire Department, the report came in just after 11 p.m. of smoke coming from a 100-by-50 foot pile of log strippings. No structures were endangered. AFD crews and employees from the business worked through the night to try to put out the fire using more than 20,000 gallons of water and heavy equipment. But, as of 8 a.m., the fire was still going.

This is the third time in a recent weeks that a decision was made to let a fire burn itself out, which AFD noted is not done lightly. The other two were barn fires. (Read more here and here.)

“Firefighters, (an) air quality official and the business owner determined that the best course of action is to allow the pile to burn.,” the AFD release states. “Although firefighters are no longer at the scene, the slash pile is being monitored, attempts to eliminate the burning slash with heavy equipment continues, and heavy smoke in the area will likely extend throughout the day.”

Read the AFD release below:
Arcata, CA – At just after 11 pm last night, Arcata Fire District was notified of a slash pile burning in the log deck at the 4300 block of West End Road. The report was for smoke coming from a 100 by 50 foot pile of log stripping’s, with no threat to the log deck or structures.

Firefighters, along with employees of the business worked tirelessly through the night to quell the flames using over 20,000 gallons of water and heavy equipment. Water was having minimal impact and it was decided that the equipment would tear the fire apart and continuous application of water was making the smoke worse.

As of this morning at 8 am, the fire continues to burn resulting in a large amount of lingering smoke and occasional flames. Firefighters, Air Quality Official and the business owner determined that the best course of action is to allow the pile to burn.

Although firefighters are no longer at the scene, the slash pile is being monitored, attempts to eliminate the burning slash with heavy equipment continues, and heavy smoke in the area will likely extend throughout the day.

Arcata Fire District would like to remind everyone that although this fire is one of a few fires in recent weeks that has been allowed to burn out, the decision to let the fire burn itself out is not taken lightly. Effectiveness of resources, including manpower, apparatus, water use and air quality are all considered when determining if a fire is allowed to burn out. 
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Kimberly Wear

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Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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