Fire erupts in Stony Creek west of H.C.

Flames can be seen along Stony Creek, south of the North State Hulling Cooperative along Highway 32, early in the afternoon on Saturday, May 14. Glenn County Observer photo by Larry Judkins.

By Larry Judkins

Glenn County Observer

Firefighters from all over Glenn County responded to a report of an “unknown type of fire” Saturday afternoon in the area of Highway 32 and Sixth Avenue, where a large column of smoke could be seen.

In fact, the column of black smoke could easily be seen from the 200 block of East Walker Street in Orland, and the call went out first to the Orland Volunteer Fire Department at about noon on May 14. Had the fire actually been at Highway 32 and Sixth Avenue, as originally reported, it would have been in Orland’s jurisdiction, but it was actually farther east than that, in the jurisdiction of the Hamilton City Fire Department.

The fire was off Highway 32, between Sixth Avenue and County Road VV. It was well off the south side of Highway 32, in the Stony Creek bed, south of the North State Hulling Cooperative.

The fire was apparently on both sides of Stony Creek, so firefighters set up commands on both the north and south sides of the creek. Incoming firefighters heading for the north side of the fire were instructed to enter the main gate of North State Hulling and head south to the creek, while incoming firefighters going to the south side of the fire were told to take County Road 18 west from Highway 45, then make their way north to the creek.

A Cal Fire helicopter takes part in the battle to extinguish the Stony Creek fire west of Hamilton City. Glenn County Observer photo by Larry Judkins.

In addition to the Orland and Hamilton City Fire Departments, mutual aid was requested from the Capay, Glenn-Codora, Bayliss, Willows, Ord Bend, and Artois Fire Departments. A Cal Fire helicopter also arrived at the scene to help with extinguishing the fire.

At about 12:15 p.m., a woman contacted the Glenn County Sheriff’s Office to report that her vehicle may have started the fire. The sheriff’s dispatcher told a deputy at the scene about this, and the deputy confirmed that there was indeed a burned-out vehicle there.

At about 2 p.m., with high temperatures reaching 90 degrees, Orland volunteers called for drinking water to be brought to them. Chief Justin Chaney asked that someone other than Orland volunteers deliver the drinks, as nearly all Orland firefighters were at the Stony Creek incident and the chief did not want to leave the city short-handed.

At 10:30 p.m., fire units from various departments were still being released from the scene.

Obituary: Charley Birimisa, 74

Charley Birimisa died west of Willows on Saturday, April 23, 2022, the result of an accident while racing his Mustang at Thunderhill Raceway. Charles Louis Birimisa was born in Mt. Shasta to Louis Birimisa and Ruth Brown on June 12, 1947.

He lived in the Mt. Shasta area his entire life. During his high school years, Charley was a star football player who received multiple scholarship offers from various universities, as well as becoming an accomplished ski racer, being selected to compete at the Junior National Level.

He opted to serve his country by joining the Marines as a Lance Corporal in Communications during the Vietnam War. On Dec. 2, 1966, he married the love of his life, Faioa Lynnette “Lynne” Schwarzenberg.

Following military service, they returned to Mt. Shasta, where they raised their three children. He worked as a large equipment operator in the timber industry as well as a master technician for the House of Ski.

They became owners of the House of Ski & Board, where Charley was known as an extraordinary ski technician and boot fitter, serving people from communities throughout Northern California.

He was a unique human being with many natural skills and talents. Time was spent designing, building, and repairing nearly anything, especially cars; many hours working on their house and gardens; downhill skiing and hiking; exploring the many National Parks of the U.S.; and traveling to visit family members.

He will be dearly missed by many.

Charley is survived by wife, Lynne; son, John (Jen) Birimisa; daughters, Stephanie Bethel and Gretchyn Zuiderweg; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren; and his beloved dog, Pete.

A funeral mass and celebration of life are to be announced at a later time. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Siskiyou Humane Society, or a charity of your choosing.