CAL FIRE Humboldt - Del Norte Unit Chief's Message

HUU Unit Chief

March 2017 - The Humboldt – Del Norte Unit is a beautiful area that encompasses the northwestern coast of California. The Unit includes Humboldt, Del Norte, and southwestern Trinity counties, a landscape that spans from the rugged Pacific Coast, through majestic redwood forests, to inland forests of Douglas-fir and pines. Much of the area is in privately held timberlands and ranches, but large areas are in State Parks and federal lands. Our primary federal cooperators include the US Forest Service’s Six Rivers National Forest, Redwood National Park, several Bureau of Land Management units, as well as diverse Native American lands supported by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

We are responsible for wildland fire protection on privately held and State-owned lands. Peak staffing includes 11 fire stations, 3 conservation camps, a helitack base, and an air base. We also provide cooperative support to our federal agencies, and work closely with our local fire departments. These FDs range from highly trained municipal services, to rural volunteer departments which maintain their services through community fund raising. The FDs work in concert to provide fire services to the communities in their time of need. Local fire service information for Humboldt County can be found here.

In addition to working with local fire departments, the Unit is active in supporting Fire Safe Councils, Firewise community groups, and doing work to manage fuels in critical locations. We have an active prescribed burning program for private lands, State parks, and provide help on burns with our federal cooperators. We also work closely with private landowners planning to burn, as well as the Northern California Prescribed Fire Council and organizations seeking the reintroduction of fire into our landscape.

The area is amongst the most highly productive timberland in the world. Coast redwood forests are highly valued for both timber production and wildlife habitat. Area rivers provide critical habitat for salmon and steelhead, as well as recreational opportunities and high quality water resources. CAL FIRE’s Resource Management foresters are engaged in environmental review of timber harvesting, conducting inspections to ensure compliance with forest and fire laws, and are key support for our fire protection mission.

The north coast of California is a tourist destination area. Our facilities center on the US Highway 101 corridor from Garberville in the south, to Crescent City near the Oregon border. Come and hike in the BLM’s King Range, marvel at the old-growth groves in Humboldt Redwoods State Park and Redwood National and State Parks, stroll along the Pacific Ocean in Trinidad,  kayak or fish in the Trinity and Smith Rivers, or backpack in the Siskiyou Wilderness. Plan a visit to the north coast.

Working in the Humboldt – Del Norte Unit is both challenging and rewarding. Local fires are in steep, rugged terrain and are resistant to control due to the deep fuel beds produced by our forests. As State-wide resources, out-of-Unit responses are common. A typical summer will produce several multi-week assignments working fires throughout the State. Employees can enjoy job satisfaction while doing important work protecting the people and resources of California.

 

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