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Saturday, February 4, 2023
HomeImportant TopicsFire Protection / Emergency ServicesCal Poly ignores Arcata Fire District response to the Draft EIR

Cal Poly ignores Arcata Fire District response to the Draft EIR

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Cal Poly seems to be ignoring the AFD response to the Draft EIR

The construction of a new dormitory at the site of the old Craftsman’s Mall is of great concern to the Arcata Fire District. In summary, the proposed dorms will be two seven story buildings, and the Arcata Fire District has stated that they cannot provide adequate fire protection these structures. Simple reasons: 

  • Arcata does not have a ladder truck. The ladder truck would have to come from Eureka.
  • A fire in a 7-story building would require 38 firefighters — minimum. This would involve firefighters from Eureka, from Fortuna, from Rio Dell, from Blue Lake, from Loleta, from Fieldbrook, from Cal Fire. The response time would be in the order of 40-45 minutes. This is way too long a response time for public safety.

In the December 21 edition of the Mad River Union, Jack Durham has an excellent article, “Mistake-riddled Craftsman housing DEIR glosses over deep challenges to fire response.”
You can read his article at this link.

The Arcata Fire District Board and AFD Chief Justin McDonald have contacted and met with our State Senator Mike McGuire and our Assemblyman Jim Wood to discuss this, and a meeting with Cal Poly representatives is in the works. Mike McGuire and Jim Wood were were not aware that fire protection for these propose buildings is so far beyond the AFD’s capabilities, and were “dumbfounded” that this process has gotten this far.

Below is the letter submitted by Arcata Fire District Board President (and former Arcata Police Chief and Arcata City Manager) Randy Mendosa regarding the Arcata Fire District’s official response to the Cal Poly project’s draft EIR.

There will be more on this topic. Stay tuned for future articles.


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