Emergency

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Flat Fire Stretches to 100 Acres, Long Delays Expected on 299

Posted By on Wed, Jul 1, 2020 at 9:00 AM

The Flat Fire. - PAUL TURNER
  • Paul Turner
  • The Flat Fire.
The Flat Fire that began a little after 3 p.m. yesterday near Burnt Ranch in western Trinity County when a crash on State Route 299 caught the hillside on fire, as of this morning, has spread to approximately 100 acres and is zero percent contained, according to the Northern California Geographic Coordination Center.

The fire is primarily burning in grass and brush.

“Minimal fire activity was reported overnight,” the center reported. “Structures remain threatened and an evacuation warning remains in place.”

The center warns that power-lines in the area are also threatened.

Caltrans tweeted this morning: “If you’re planning on traveling Route 299 east of Burnt Ranch in Trinity County (PM 13.2), please expect delays. Helicopter operations to fight the wildfire in the area could cause two-hour delays.”

Local resident Paul Turner who provided these images from the fire yesterday described seeing “the hot spots burning all night.”
The Flat Fire. - PAUL TURNER
  • Paul Turner
  • The Flat Fire.

The Flat Fire. - PAUL TURNER
  • Paul Turner
  • The Flat Fire.
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Tuesday, June 30, 2020

SECOND UPDATE: Growing Fire Near Burnt Ranch, Some Structures Threatened

Posted By on Tue, Jun 30, 2020 at 4:59 PM

The Flat Fire. - PHOTO BY PAUL TURNER
  • Photo by Paul Turner
  • The Flat Fire.

2nd UPDATE

According to Shasta Trinity Forest Service:

“The Flat Fire was reported at 3:02 p.m. this afternoon near the Cedar Flat Picnic Area east of Burnt Ranch. It is currently approximately 80-100 acres in size and burning north towards Ironside Mountain. Highway 299 is closed in both directions and several structures in the area are threatened. The cause of the fires is under investigation. Current resources fighting the Flat Fire include three crews, five air tankers, two helicopters, eight engines, two water tenders, one dozer and a load of smokejumpers.”

Caltrans, meanwhile, reports that the highway could be re-opening to one-way, controlled traffic as soon as 8:30 p.m., warning motorists should expect delays.

Check out this video, from Trinity Sungrown, of a plane dropping supplies to smokejumpers on the ground.


UPDATE:
 According to a 7 p.m. tweet by Caltrans District 1: “Route 299 east of Burnt Ranch in Trinity County remains fully closed. The highway is expected to re-open to one-way traffic control at approximately 8:30 p.m., and traffic control will continue overnight. Please expect delays and plan your travel accordingly.”

PREVIOUS:
Caltrans is cautioning motorists that a vegetation fire has closed down State Route 299 east of Willow Creek near Burnt Ranch.

The Flat Fire was first reported at 3:20 p.m., apparently after a car overturned and caught fire, and grown to 80 to 100 acres within three hours, according to
Shasta Trinity Forest Service.
The Forest Service’s InciWeb reported at 5:10 p.m. that “3 crews, 5 Tankers and 2 helicopters are on scene. A crew of jumpers are on the ground. Both lanes of 299W are closed, some structures are threatened.”

According to one local resident, the fire is on the north side of the river at Cedar Flat. Fire engines from Big Bar have arrived on the scene.

The CHP page is also reported that the Trinity County Sheriff’s Department is putting out a CODE RED which alerts people through calls of emergencies in their areas.

At 4:08 p.m., the CHP page noted that the fire was burning away from the highway and one-way traffic control was in effect. But 4:11 p.m., the page said that the Forest Service is requesting to have 299 closed for one hour.

UPDATE 4:35 p.m.: Flightradar shows Tanker 160 and several other aircraft are joining the battle. UPDATE 4:38 p.m.: Caltrans is reporting, “EMERGENCY CLOSURE: SR 299 is closed approximately 2.5 miles east of Burnt Ranch (Trinity County) due to vegetation fire. WILL UPDATE”

UPDATE 4:41 p.m.: These air resources are either at or coming to the fire: AA50, Jumper 52, Tankers 95, 96, Helicopter 506, Helicopter 102 are either at or coming to the fire.

UPDATE 4:43 p.m.: Shasta Trinity Forest Service just tweeted, “[R]esponding resources include engines, air tankers and Helicopter 506. Fire is burning uphill and to the north. Motorists please avoid the area along Hwy 299 east of Burnt Ranch and west of Del Loma.”

UPDATE 4:53 p.m.: Caltrans just tweeted, “Route 299 east of Willow Creek near Burnt Ranch is fully closed due to a vegetation fire. The estimated time of reopening is one hour.”
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PG&E to Talk Power Shutoffs in Webinar for Humboldt, Surrounding Counties

Posted By on Tue, Jun 30, 2020 at 2:08 PM

Humboldt Bay Power Plant. - YULIA WEEKS
  • Yulia Weeks
  • Humboldt Bay Power Plant.
PG&E is hosting a webinar tomorrow for residents of Humboldt, Trinity and Siskiyou counties to hear details of its Community Wildlife Safety Program and plans for making any needed Public Safety Power Shutoffs “smaller in size, shorter in length and smarter for customers.”

Humboldt was plunged into darkness twice in October when wildfire dangers in other areas led PG&E to pull the plug on grids that power the region. PG&E has since worked to isolate portions of the county from the larger grid in the event of PSPS, a process known as islanding, and using the Humboldt Bay Power Plant.

PG&E declared a May test run of the islanding a success and stated in a release earlier this month that areas that could be powered by the plant include “20 cities and towns such as Eureka, Arcata, McKinleyville and Fortuna as well as some tribal communities.”

Read more here and here and here.

The July 1 seminar is scheduled to run from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and can be accessed at https://bit.ly/2AklNhC or by phone at (866) 501-6088 with the conference ID code 6968668.

Read the full PG&E release below:


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Monday, June 29, 2020

Paycheck Protection Program to Close to New Applicants Tomorrow

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2020 at 5:00 PM

north-coast_sbdc.png
The North Coast Small Businesses Development Center announced that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will close to new applicants tomorrow.

"The Paycheck Protection Program closes to new applications TOMORROW Tuesday, June 30.  If you haven’t yet applied, please note the PPP loan shuts down to new applications by the end of Tuesday, June 30. Some lenders have already closed applications so if you need help finding a lender contact infor@asksbdc.com," reads a release.

Read more about the Paycheck Protection Program here.


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Where to Get Financial Help During Coronavirus in California — and Is It Enough?

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2020 at 12:48 PM

IMAGES VIA ISTOCK
  • Images via iStock
From hotel rooms for people who are homeless to restaurant meals for seniors isolating for their lives, California has rapidly expanded its safety net in an attempt to catch millions of residents impacted by the coronavirus and its economic aftershocks.

In daily press conferences during the pandemic’s first months, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced new “first-in-the-nation” plans to protect vulnerable Californians from illness or financial distress at a dizzying pace.

But months in, the pandemic safety net strains and sometimes snaps under the weight of Californians’ needs. People spend hours calling agency after agency seeking help to buy groceries or pay rent. Many fall through the cracks.

Approximately 16 million Californians, or 53% of all adults, have lost income since March 13, according to estimates from a Census Bureau survey conducted in mid-June. An estimated 3.5 million residents report their family lacked enough food to eat, up from 2.7 million before the pandemic. And 3.3 million have slight or no confidence that they’ll be able to pay July’s rent.

Whether California’s safety net response represents the best the state could do to keep its residents afloat or a one-two punch of overpromising and underdelivering may lie in the eyes of the beholder.

For some of California’s biggest pandemic safety net programs, here’s how the state’s promises square with reality:






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Community Caravan Will Call for Rent and Mortgage Forgiveness

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2020 at 12:30 PM

Centro del Pueblo, Cooperation Humboldt, North Coast People’s Alliance, the Humboldt and Del Norte Central Labor Council, Buenlucha, the Party for Socialism and Liberation and other community organizations will host caravan through Eureka calling for banks to forgive mortgages for landlords and tenets who can't pay rent due to COVID-19 related unemployment on Wednesday, July 1.

“In May, my landlord increased the rent of the place where I’ve been living for decades. We live in a trailer park in Eureka. I couldn’t pay for electricity in order to complete the rent amount this month. I’m a single mother of four children, I work as a housekeeper, but due to the pandemic, I have no job. We are here to work, we pay taxes, we are thousands in this situation, we need help and rent forgiveness to start over, as a recognition of all the effort and the long hours that we have worked tirelessly in this country,” Rosa said in an open statement for Centro del Pueblo.

According to the release, the caravan — which is inviting bikes, skateboards, and cars — will meet in the parking lot of the Eureka Labor Temple (840 D Street) at 5 p.m. and will start at 5:25 p.m.

The caravan will follow social distancing guidelines and will require participants to wear masks and stay 6 ft apart. 

Read the full press release below.
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First 5 Humboldt and Changing Tides Provides Emergency Supplies to Child Care Facilities with Children of Essential Workers

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2020 at 11:48 AM

Star Mohatt (left), program coordinator for First 5 Humboldt and Kerry Venegas (right), executive director of Changing Tides Family Services with materials for child care providers. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Star Mohatt (left), program coordinator for First 5 Humboldt and Kerry Venegas (right), executive director of Changing Tides Family Services with materials for child care providers.
First 5 Humboldt and Changing Tides Family Services recently donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other essential supplies to child care facilities serving children of essential workers and vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The supplies included masks, disinfectants, children's books, wipes, non-contact thermometers and diapers.

“We are committed to helping child care providers adapt and respond to this pandemic so the children of our essential workers receive safe high-quality child care. These supplies are a critical part of our response, and we greatly appreciate the partnership and support of First 5 California and First 5 Humboldt.” Kerry Venegas, executive director of Changing Tides Family Services said in the release. 

Read the full press release below.

First 5 Humboldt and Changing Tides Family Services Provide Emergency Supplies to Child Care Facilities Serving Children of Essential Workers Masks

Eureka, CA — First 5 Humboldt and Changing Tides Family Services recently unloaded mission-critical supplies for Humboldt County child care providers caring for the children of essential workers and vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 crisis. The deliveries included boxes of 3-ply masks, disinfectant, children’s books, wipes, 100 non-contact thermometers, and 400 packs of 40-50 diapers each. These supplies will be distributed by Changing Tides Family Services to essential worker child care providers.

“We are committed to helping child care providers adapt and respond to this pandemic so the children of our essential workers receive safe high-quality child care. These supplies are a critical part of our response, and we greatly appreciate the partnership and support of First 5 California and First 5 Humboldt.” said Kerry Venegas, Executive Director of Changing Tides Family Services

“Child care providers are essential workers on the front lines of this crisis. They are putting themselves at risk to care for the children of our hospital staff, law enforcement, grocery, and other essential workers. We owe them a debt of gratitude and are glad we can help with these supplies.” said Mary Ann Hansen, Executive Director of First 5 Humboldt County.

Eureka’s Mayor, Susan Seaman, who serves on the local Humboldt Emergency Child Care Task Force, expressed appreciation for the effort: “we are so grateful to the child care leadership in our community to recognize the needs of our providers and to be able to gather the resources needed to provide that support. When our providers are cared for, our children and families feel more secure.”

The supply delivery is part of a statewide First 5 California program using $4 million in emergency funding to provide 60 days of supplies to child care providers serving essential workers. The distribution of emergency supplies to each county was determined using a formula based on birth rate. First 5 Humboldt purchased the non-contact thermometers as each provider must take temperatures daily.

“It is important that child care providers and families with children have access to critical supplies during this extraordinary time,” said Camille Maben, Executive Director of First 5 California. “Working with our First 5 county partners, we hope this investment provides a measure of relief.”
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Thursday, June 25, 2020

House Fire in McKinleyville Last Night (with video)

Posted By on Thu, Jun 25, 2020 at 12:34 PM

The scene of the house fire. - ARCATA FIRE DEPARTMENT
  • Arcata Fire Department
  • The scene of the house fire.

The Arcata Fire District responded to a house fire on Thiel Avenue in McKinleyville around 10 p.m. on Wednesday that caused major damage but no injuries.

The initial responding crew was limited in their ability to battle the blaze due to a requirement that four firefighters be on scene before a building can be entered, the release states.

“Thankfully, there was no one trapped inside. With only two firefighters on the engine, it presents a significant challenge for our staff to fight the fire from outside,” Battalion Chief Sean Campbell said in the release. “We could not get to the rear of the house because the brush was eight feet tall. The firefighters were trying to fight fire in the rear bedrooms from the front porch and that is not effective. Once the second engine arrived, firefighters were able to get inside and control the fire.”

The cause is under investigation but is believed to be accidental in nature, with the home’s occupant reporting electrical issues in the area where the fire started, according to the release.

AFD had to request aid from the Samoa Fire to responded to a  911 call in Arcata that came in while the engines were on scene.

Read the full Arcata Fire District release below:



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Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Over 50 Percent of Local Confirmed COVID-19 Patients had Respiratory Issues, T-S Reports

Posted By on Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 2:35 PM

The Times-Standard is reporting that over 50 percent of local COVID-19 patients had respiratory issues.

The report states that Humboldt County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich confirmed the data and said that not all of the patients had fevers either.

Read the full story here
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Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Public Health Confirms One New COVID Case

Posted By on Tue, Jun 23, 2020 at 5:30 PM

A Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory employee processes a COVID-19 test. - PUBLIC HEALTH
  • Public health
  • A Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory employee processes a COVID-19 test.
Humboldt County Public Health confirmed one new COVID-19 case, bringing the countywide total to 113.

Today's results make 6 new cases that have been confirmed within the past week.

The report did not mention where the new case is believed to be contracted, however, 62 are believed to have contracted the virus from a known case, 26 through travel and 23 via community transmission, meaning they are believed to have contracted the virus from an unknown source in the local community, while the two confirmed cases today are still under investigation.

Of Humboldt County's case count, 62 people contracted the virus from a known case, 26 through travel and 23 via community transmission, meaning they are believed to have caught the virus from an unknown source in the local community, and two cases are under investigation.

Humboldt County Public Health is urging residents who aren't experiencing symptoms to get tested free of charge at the mobile testing site at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds. (People experiencing symptoms should contact a healthcare provider, officials say.) Asymptomatic individuals can make an appointment to be tested by visiting https://Lhi.care/covidtesting or calling (888) 634-1123. Tests will be administered free of charge, whether or not people have health insurance.

Basics of COVID-19


The California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control, state that symptoms of novel coronavirus include cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or at least two of the following: fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat or a new loss of taste or smell.

Emergency warning signs needing immediate medical attention include difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to awaken, and bluish lips or face.

In an emergency situation:

Call ahead to the emergency room or inform the 911 operator of the possibility of a COVID-19 infection and, if possible, put on a face mask.

Symptoms or possible exposure:

In the case of a possible exposure with symptoms — fever and cough or shortness of breath — contact your doctor’s office or the county Department of Health and Human Services, which has a hotline that can be reached during business hours at covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us or at (707) 441-5000. Residents seeking medical advice or questions about testing are asked to contact Public Health at hhsphb@co.humbldt.ca.us or at (707) 445-6200.

St. Joseph Health has also set up a virtual assessment tool as an aid to assess risk factors for contracting the illness, which can be found at here.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has started a rumor-control webpage that can be found here.

For the Journal's latest COVID stories, updates and information resources, click here.


Read today's report below.

June 23, 2020 - One New Case Reported Today

Humboldt County’s COVID-19 case count rose to 113, as one additional case was reported today.

For the most recent COVID-19 information, visit cdc.gov or cdph.ca.gov. Local information is available at humboldtgov.org or during business hours by contacting covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us or calling 707-441-5000.


707-441-5000 ; covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us ; Monday-Friday 8am to 7pm Opens in new window

New confirmed COVID-19 cases: 1

Total confirmed cases: 113

  • Total recovered cases: 103
  • Total deaths: 4
  • Total hospitalizations: 14

Transmission information for all known cases

  • Contact to a Known Case: 62
  • Travel-Acquired: 26
  • Community Transmission: 23
  • Under Investigation: 2

Number of tests run since last report

  • Public Health Laboratory: 18
  • OptumServe public testing site: 117

Total tests run to date

  • Public Health Laboratory: 4,044
  • OptumServe public testing site: 4,114
  • Willow Creek public testing site: 42

Public Health Laboratory testing Information

  • Supply capacity: Approximately 1,950 tests
  • Testing capacity: 70 samples per day
  • Turnaround time: 24 to 72 hours

For the most recent information about COVID-19, visit CDC.gov or CDPH.ca.gov. For local information, visit humboldtgov.org, call 707-441-5000 or email covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us.

What do these numbers mean?

  • New confirmed cases of COVID-19—the number of test-confirmed positive cases since the previous report.
  • Total confirmed cases—the number of test-confirmed positive cases since the pandemic began, including people who have recovered from the illness.
  • Total recovered—the number of confirmed cases who are no longer in isolation, meaning they have met Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria for release, including absence of fever for at least three days without use of fever-reducing medicine, improvement in symptoms and have had 10 days or more since onset of symptoms.
  • Total deaths—the number of people who have died after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Total hospitalizations—total number of people with confirmed cases of COVID who have been hospitalized since the pandemic began, including people who have been released.
  • Number of tests run since last report—number of tests run since the most recent reporting period.
    • Public Health Laboratory— number of tests performed at the Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory since the most recent reporting period.
    • OptumServe—number of tests performed at the OptumServe testing site in Eureka since the most recent reporting period.
    • Willow Creek public testing site—number of tests performed at the Verily testing site in Willow Creek since the most recent reporting period.
  • Total tests run to date—total number of tests run to date.
    • Public Health Laboratory—total number of tests performed to date at the Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory.
    • OptumServe—total number of tests performed to date at the OptumServe test site in Eureka.
    • Willow Creek public testing site—total number of tests performed to date at the Verily testing site in Willow Creek since the most recent reporting period.
  • Public Health Laboratory test capacity—the approximate number of testing kits that are complete and ready to be administered. This number is decreased by testing and increased as additional supplies are acquired.
  • Public Health Laboratory turnaround timethe estimated amount of time it takes per testing run. Each run can include up to 20 samples; multiple batches can be run each day.
  • Transmission data
    • travel-acquired—nationally, internationally or regionally
    • contact to known case—an individual found to have been in direct contact with someone who tested positive for the virus
    • community transmission—spread without travel or known contact to any other confirmed case
    • under investigation—confirmed case whose means of transmission has not yet been determined.
  • Regional data—the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 per region. The three reporting regions of Humboldt County are:
    • Northern Humboldt— extends south from Humboldt’s County’s border with Del Norte County (North) to Highway 299 (South).
    • Greater Humboldt Bay Area—extends south from Highway 299 (North) to Highway 36 (South).
    • Southern Humboldt—extends south from Highway 36 (North) to Humboldt County’s southern border with Mendocino County.
  • Gender—the gender of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. Total cases, shown by percentage.
  • Mean age—the average age of all the individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. Average age is calculated by adding all the ages of individuals together and dividing by the number of cases.
  • Age Range—the number of total individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 grouped by age.
  • Test rates and confirmed case rates relative to the State of California—the number of tests performed per 100,000 people. The number of tests performed are provided by the California Reportable Disease Information Exchange (CalREDIE), which includes all resulted tests performed by the Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory, OptumServe public test site, LabCorp, Quest Diagnostics, CDPH, the CDC and point-of-care devices. Population estimates are based on data from the United States Census Bureau. Rates per 100,000 are calculated by dividing the total number of tests performed by the population of the jurisdiction and multiplying the result by 100,000.
  • Confirmed case rates relative to the State of California—the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people. Test results are provided by CalREDIE, which includes tests performed by the Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory, OptumServe public test site, LabCorp, Quest Diagnostics, CDPH, the CDC and point-of-care devices. Population estimates are based on data from the United States Census Bureau. Rates per 100,000 are calculated by dividing the total number of confirmed cases by the population of the jurisdiction and multiplying the result by 100,000.

Notes on patient and demographic data

To protect the identity of people with COVID-19, their specific location of residence will not be disclosed. The Humboldt County Public Health Branch is legally responsible for protecting personal health information, including residence address, specific age, recent travel, the identities and locations of any contacts, the provider of medical treatment, the course of illness and any other information that might identify an individual with or exposed to the virus unless it serves the interests of public health to do so.

Although we understand it is of interest to residents, providing location and other demographic information to the general public does nothing to slow the spread of illness. Humboldt County is experiencing untraceable person-to-person transmission, also known as “community spread,” and there is no place that can be considered safe. To reduce your chances of acquiring or spreading COVID-19, avoid travel, wash your hands, keep yourself and your environment clean, follow the shelter-in-place order, and do not leave home for any reason unless it is absolutely necessary to do so.

The following case information is provided daily Monday through Friday:

  • New confirmed cases
  • Total confirmed cases to date
  • Total recovered cases to date
  • Total deaths to date
  • Total hospitalizations to date
  • Number of tests run since last report
    • Number of Public Health Lab tests since last report
    • Number of OptumServe tests since last report
  • Total number of tests to date
    • Number of Public Health Lab tests to date
    • Number of OptumServe tests to date
  • Public Health Lab test capacity, total and daily, and estimated turnaround time
    • Transmission data
    • travel-acquired
    • contact to known case
    • community transmission
    • under investigation

Additional information is updated each Friday:

  • Regional data
  • Gender
  • Mean age
  • Age range
  • Test rates and positive test rates relative to the State of California and the United States.
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