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.
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.