Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Tuesday, May 7 @ 3:02 p.m.

Crescent City Fire Gets Green Light to Burn Down County's Old Mental Health Building

Don Olson takes a ride in a Crescent City Fire & Rescue engine in the 2021 Fourth of July Parade. | File photo: Jessica C. Andrews


Del Norte Sheriff Says He's Working With Other County Officials to Find Search & Rescue a New Home


Agencies from as far as Illinois Valley and Orick will join Crescent City Fire & Rescue in a training exercise that involves setting the county’s old mental health services building at 206 Williams Drive ablaze.

“This is a huge opportunity to get hands-on experience that you can’t get without a building,” Fire Chief Kevin Carey told the City Council on Monday, adding that he was also inviting CalFire and departments in Brookings and Harbor. “ We’re currently working on an awesome plan to maximize opportunities, including breaking the building up into different disciplines. We’ll also invite every regional agency we can to participate.”

The exact date for the training exercise depends on how soon Crescent City Fire & Rescue can get permits through the North Coast Air Quality Management District. Carey said he expects to hold the training in early June.

Three city councilors approved an agreement with Del Norte County to do the training exercise. Councilors Jason Greenough and Isaiah Wright were absent.

Del Norte County planned to demolish the building to make way for an emergency homeless shelter and pallet home village using $10.8 million in state Encampment Resolution Funding dollars.

In February, the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors gave their blessing to Del Norte Mission Possible, which proposed a 60-bed emergency shelter using a Sprung building for the Williams Drive location along with a 50-unit tiny home village.

The county’s old mental health building is about 4,000 square feet, County Administrative Officer Neal Lopez told the Outpost in February.

Though the building has been nearly vacant for several years due to the asbestos, Del Norte County Search & Rescue had used it to store the myriad of pieces of equipment they rely on when called out on an emergency.

Sheriff Garrett Scott said he may have found a new home for Search & Rescue at an old paint shop the former California Auto Image body shop on Washington Boulevard owned by Mike Lovaas. Lovaas was a Search & Rescue volunteer in Oregon and is working with the sheriff’s office on a rental agreement.

That agreement will go before the Board of Supervisors on May 14, Scott said.

“I’m asking for Measure R funds to cover the rental fees for our SAR team,” he told the Wild Rivers Outpost on Tuesday. “It’s a little bit over 5,000 square feet we’ll be able to put boats in there too.”

The Board of Supervisors on April 23 granted permission to Crescent City Fire & Rescue for its training burn. However before the exercise, the county needs to remove items inside the building along with the asbestos and other hazardous materials, City Attorney Martha Rice said.

The county will also be responsible for cleaning up the site following the burn, according to its April 23 staff report. Del Norte County will also relocate agricultural department personnel during the burn since they’re next door, Rice said.

Crescent City will be responsible for obtaining the air quality permit, waivers from participating agencies and notifying the public, Rice said.


© 2024 Lost Coast Communications Contact: