About 100 acres of foliage were ablaze in the Stony Creek area on July 19, causing local fire departments to evacuate surrounding communities. No one was injured during the fire, and no property was damaged. But a 14-year-old girl admitted to starting the flames.
The girl was referred to the probation department following the incident, but officials didn’t say why she started the fire. Firefighters haven’t been able to determine how the fire was started, but witness accounts pointed to a group of juveniles who were in the area prior to the fire, according to a press release from the Glenn County Sheriff’s Department.
“I think it’s a lesson to people not to do it, nothing good ever comes from fire,” said Justin Chaney, chief of the Orland Volunteer Fire Department.
Although the fire hugged along the creek and never made it to residential areas, law enforcement evacuated Shady Oaks Mobile Home Park and other nearby residences as a precaution. But being away from populated areas didn’t make it any easier to put out the fire. The dry vegetation quickly grew the blaze into 100 acres.
“Most of the north end of Glenn County got to watch it – pretty good column of smoke,” Chaney said. “Yeah, it was probably about half a mile long, heavy vegetation lot of bamboo and trees in that creek.”
Summer is the busiest time of year for firefighters, according to Chaney. Because of this, resources can be scarce when there’s a fire – there may be more than one that requires immediate attention. Every Glenn County fire department was present at Stonycreek, in addition to a few units from neighboring Tehama County.
“I want to thank all of Glenn County and the units from Tehama for coming and helping,” Chaney said. “Pretty much all of Glenn County has volunteer firefighters. Everybody is busy and it can be hard finding people who are available.”
While nobody was hurt during the Stony Creek fire, Chaney hopes the incident will help educate the public on the dangers of playing with fire.