Humboldt County agricultural producers are encouraged to apply now for a Restricted Area Access Pass before the next emergency strikes.
The pass, which must be renewed yearly, allows qualifying agricultural and cannabis producers/cultivators and/or commercial livestock operators to gain entrance to evacuation zones, or other restricted areas, to provide feed, water, medical treatment and other care to large scale commercial livestock, and/or to tend to crops.
“In recent years, Humboldt County has felt the impact of wildfires, some of which required evacuations within our most rural communities,” Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal said. “We realize the impact even a few days away from home can have on an agriculture business. In this last year, the Restricted Area Access Pass Program allowed Ag business owners access past closed roadways to take care of business safely while firefighters worked to mitigate the Knob Fire.”
Agricultural producers, licensed commercial cannabis cultivators and commercial livestock operators must submit an application to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) by August 1, 2022, for verification and enrollment into the Restricted Area Access Pass Program. Once enrolled, the participant is issued a personalized pass which, based upon safety conditions and incident status, may be used to gain entrance into an evacuation zone or other restricted area in order to provide food, water, medical treatment or other care to large-scale commercial livestock, and/or to tend to crops.
“The access pass is not a guaranteed permit to enter a restricted zone but is a necessary pre-registration step making it easier for agricultural producers to access their livestock or crops during an emergency,” OES Manager Ryan Derby said. “Please make every effort to apply for this program prior to an emergency occurring.”
How it Works
The passes will be administered and approved through OES, in partnership with the county Agricultural Commissioner’s Office and the Planning & Building Department. Once issued an access pass, agricultural producers with operations located within an evacuation zone must notify OES or the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office of their interest in accessing the property. Authorization to enter restricted zones will be given daily and decided based upon the conditions. The pass holder will be notified of approval.
Following notification, pass holders can access their property through a law enforcement checkpoint during daylight hours. The Restricted Area Access Pass does not grant authority to the pass holder to stay at their residence and/or business when an evacuation order is issued.
The access passes will be valid through December 31, 2022.
Humboldt County residents can learn more about the Restricted Area Access Pass Program and apply at humboldtsheriff.org/oes.
All Humboldt County residents are encouraged to prepare now for an emergency by assembling an emergency supply kit and creating a family communication plan. Residents should also be sure to “Know Your Zone,” by checking your designated evacuation zone at community.zonehaven.com. Should an evacuation occur in your community, OES will use your evacuation zone name when announcing evacuation orders.
To ensure you receive the most up-to-date information and emergency alerts, sign up for Humboldt ALERT, Humboldt County’s emergency alert system.