By Investigative Reporter – Linda Sutter – August 18, 2023
Two days ago a lightening storm caused several fires within the 6 Rivers National Forrest. By Tuesday one helicopter was dispatched to begin dumping water on the Fires. By Wednesday Patrick’s Creek Lodge was surrounded by fire. Today Del Norte County received 2 more helicopters with a report they were having a hard time finding deep pools of water in the Smith River.
According to a national Forrest Ranger I spoke with at the Gasquet Airport, it will be a few days before fire troops arrive. In the meantime Gasquet community was placed on level 2 notice. Level 3 is mandatory evacuation.
The Local Office of Emergency Services (OES) under Neil Lopez is reported as stating this is a Federal incident. In other words not our problem. Apparently Neil Lopez’s house isn’t in the burn area.
Hiouchi was just notified to evacuate without any communication from Del Norte OES or the Feds. THIS IS AN ATROCITY.
There are currently 100 mobile homes or more in Hiouchi mobile home parks with a majority of it’s residents who are disabled. They are the first ones that need to be removed to safety. But OES is sitting on their thumbs not communicating with anyone.
The Public Information Officer, (PIO) officer for the Feds can’t explain their mismanagement and since it does not directly affect her, she could care less. It is going to be days before camps are set up according to a ranger I spoke with at the Gasquet airport. He stated the camps would be set up in Cave Junction. That statement was peculiar since the narrows on 199 are incapacitated due to rocks, wood, and other debris that has covered the road entirely.
The fire is not contained and is dangerously encroaching upon us. Will this be another Paradise fire? Or Maui fire?
Chris Howard who is the sitting supervisor for district 3 which covers the entire area on fire is currently away from this area but has been making phone calls. It wouldn’t hurt to call Senator Mike McGuire and Congressman Jared Huffman to get movement before Del Norte County burns up.