Car arson sparks vegetation fire in McKinleyville

The following is a press release issued by the Arcata Fire Protection District:

At approximately 6:43 a.m. today, the Arcata Fire Protection District was dispatched to a vegetation fire in the 3000 block of Sandpoint Drive in McKinleyville.

The fire was .079 acres and has been fully contained and extinguished. When crews first arrived on scene, the fire was within 100 yards of two structures. The fire crews reacted very quickly and were able to stop the fire from proceeding and causing damage to those structures. The cause of the vegetation fire was a vehicle that had been set on fire and then pushed down a cliff. There is a joint investigation being completed by Arcata Fire Protection District, Humboldt County Sheriff's Department and California Highway Patrol.

Arcata Fire Protection District responded with three engines, one water tender, 11 firefighters, and one Chief Officer. Humboldt County Sheriff's Department responded because the vehicle involved may be linked to a burglary that occurred in McKinleyville last night. We would like to thank the California Highway Patrol for responding to assist in logistics and in the investigation as well as Humboldt Bay Fire for providing coverage for the Arcata community.

Battalion Chief Campbell commented, "If you don't think arson is a big deal, look at your insurance premium. Arson is a serious crime that leads to over $3 billion dollars a year in losses. The insurance companies aren't going to eat that loss, all of us with insurance pay for that in our premiums".

Arcata Fire Protection District would like to remind everyone that with our unusually high temperatures lately and the drought that grasses and shrubs are very dry right now. We urge everyone to be aware and to be careful because small fires can become big fires.