Emergency

Saturday, May 23, 2020

UPDATE: Escape Debris Fire Catches Redwood, Endangers Home (with video)

Posted By on Sat, May 23, 2020 at 2:17 PM

arcata_fire_district.png
Just before 2 p.m., a dispatcher sent multiple fire departments to an escaped debris fire in the 1100 block of Hunts Drive near McKinleyville.

According to the Incident Commander (IC) speaking over the scanner, the debris fire is burning around the foot of a 100-foot redwood tree. The IC reports that the fire is “working directly up the tree.” He said, “We have a direct exposure to the house.”

Later, he said the fire is all the way to the top of the tree and “throwing embers.”
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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Times-Standard: Arcata City Council Extends COVID-19 Eviction Moratorium, Moves Ahead with Affordable Housing Measure

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2020 at 7:39 PM

city-of-arcata-logo-clean.gif
The Times-Standard is reporting that the Arcata City Council voted unanimously to extend a temporary moratorium on evictions for failure to pay rent due to coronavirus-related hardships.

Read the full story here.
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Yurok Tribe Reservation to Be Closed Until at Least July 1

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2020 at 12:36 PM

THE YUROK TRIBE
  • The Yurok Tribe
The Yurok Tribe announced that the Yurok Tribe Reservation will remain closed to non-residents until July 1.

According to a press release,  the tribe is closing off the reservation to protect Tribal elders who are essential to the continuation of the Tribe's traditional culture as Humboldt and Del Norte counties COVID-19 cases continue to rise, including two deaths in Humboldt County.

"According to the United Indian Health Services, approximately 60 percent of the tribal citizens living on the reservation are either elders or individuals who have underlying medical conditions," the press release states. Two of the most vulnerable populations that are at risk of contracting the virus. 

“With the holiday weekend coming up, we want to remind everyone that the Yurok Reservation is closed to non-residents. We deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause, but it has to be done,” Joseph L. James, the Chairman of the Yurok Tribe said in a press release. “Due to the elevated infection rates in the two counties, it is extremely important for the reservation community to continue sheltering in place and practicing physical distancing. Wearing personal protective equipment when outside of the home is also strongly recommended. The health of our elders and the perpetuation of our traditional heritage depend on it.”

The press release also states the work the Yurok Tribe has been doing to help its residents stay at home, including delivering supply boxes, conducting regular check-ins with Tribal elders, waiving internet fees for April and May and the Yurok Indian Housing Authority did not change the rent to residents in Tribal rental homes during April and May.

According to the release, the Yurok Public Health Task Force has developed a phased, COVID-19 Reengagement Plan to guide the effort in reopening the reservation.

Read the full press release below:

Yurok Tribe issues reminder about reservation closure

Tribe strongly encourages citizens to continue practicing all personal safety measures The Yurok Reservation will remain closed until at least July 1 to protect Tribal elders, who are essential to the continuation of the Tribe’s traditional culture, and to safeguard the community as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increases in two neighboring counties.

“With the holiday weekend coming up, we want to remind everyone that the Yurok Reservation is closed to non-residents. We deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause, but it has to be done,” said Joseph L. James, the Chairman of the Yurok Tribe. “Due to the elevated infection rates in the two counties, it is extremely important for the reservation community to continue sheltering in place and practicing physical distancing. Wearing personal protective equipment when outside of the home is also strongly recommended. The health our elders and the perpetuation of our traditional heritage depend on it.”

Del Norte and Humboldt Counties, located to the north and south of reservation, recently received variances from the state to implement Stage 2 of the California Resilience Roadmap. Stage 2 permits certain businesses, such as office-based businesses, car washes and curb-side retail, to begin reopening following the approval of a modified operation plan. In the past week, both counties have seen spikes in confirmed COVID-19 cases, including the first two COVID-19-related fatalities in Humboldt. Both involved senior citizens.

Since March 13, the Yurok Tribe’s Incident Command Team has worked day and night to protect Tribal citizens during this public health emergency. On a weekly basis, the Tribe is delivering food and supply boxes to help approximately 500 vulnerable citizens stay home as much as possible. The Tribe is conducting regular check-ins with Tribal elders. The Tribe waived all internet fees for April and May to assist those who are struggling as a consequence of the crisis. The Yurok Indian Housing Authority did not charge rent to those in Tribal rental homes during the same period of time.

There are curfew and shelter-in-place orders in place on the reservation. These orders apply to all reservation residents and businesses. The Yurok Tribal Council is regularly reviewing the orders and will make announcements when each have been lifted.

When the reservation is reopened, it will be a slow and deliberate process. The Yurok Public Health Task Force has developed a phased, COVID-19 Reengagement Plan to guide this effort. The detailed blueprint is meant to mitigate potential risks associated with reopening.

The Yurok Reservation is located in an area with very few medical resources and limited coronavirus testing. According to the United Indian Health Services, approximately sixty percent of the tribal citizens living on the reservation are either elders or individuals who have underlying medical conditions. Those with preexisting health issues are more susceptible to experiencing the most severe symptoms from the coronavirus, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On April 6, the Tribal Council voted to close the reservation to non-residents. The closure applies to all non-residents except for those who provide essential services. The order does not prevent throughtraffic on the highways traversing the reservation.

“We know this crisis is challenging for everyone, whether you are a business owner or parent of young children. I would like to commend our community for taking this seriously and putting the health of the community above all else,” concluded Chairman James.
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Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Cher-Ae Heights Casino to Reopen Friday May 22

Posted By on Tue, May 19, 2020 at 6:25 PM

Roulette at Cher-Ae Heights. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • Roulette at Cher-Ae Heights.
Cher-Ae Heights casino announced today that it will reopen on Friday, May 22.

According to a press release, the casino will close from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m. to clean and sanitize common surface areas and has installed plexiglass throughout the casino to act as safe health barriers.

Bear River Casino was the first local casino to announce plans to re-open, and Humboldt County Public Health Officer Teresa Frankovich was clear that she opposed the move.

“What I can say is this is not the time,” she said. “We are far too early in this and ultimately there is no way to get around the fact that these are mass gatherings. It’s an entertainment venue and people are not only together in large numbers but they’re together for large periods of time, which extends risk. … I don’t think it’s the time. I would clearly oppose the opening of casinos right now in our community, although I’d be happy to have ongoing conversations about when might be the right time.”

Read the casino's press release below:
Cher-Ae Heights Casino opening Friday, May 22nd
5/18/20We are pleased to announce that we will reopen the casino this coming Friday, May 22nd at 8:00 am! The safety of our guests and employees is of the utmost priority. Our employees have spent the last 3 months researching safety precautions through medical professionals and recommendations by the Public Health Department. In order to create a safe and clean environment we will close every night from 2:00am to 8:00am to sanitize our property. Our employees have been trained and are committed to making sure it is thorough. We have purchased and installed plexiglass which has been placed strategically throughout the casino in order to create safe health barriers

SAFETY PROCEDURES AND IMPLEMENTATION

● All employees & guests are required to wear face masks. NO EXCEPTIONS
● Social distancing will be mandatory throughout the entire casino floor and bingo hall
● Guests must check in at the front entrance to ensure masks are securely worn
● An employee will scan temperatures of each guest prior to entry to ensure they are below 100 F temp
● Upon entrance guests will be required to use our hand washing stations
● There will be no smoking or alcohol until further notice
● Plexiglass is installed at Cashier Stations, Crown Club, Bingo check-in, Gift Shop and Sunrise Grill
● Table games have limited seating per table and have been further distanced for social distancing

TEMPORARY HOURS OF OPERATION

Seniors 55+ 8:00am - 10:00am Everyday
General Public 10:00am -2:00am Everyday
Sunrise Grill 9:00am - 10:00pm Monday - Thursday

● Sunset Restaurant and Firewater Lounge are closed until further notice

TABLE GAMES
Wednesday - Saturday
4:00pm - 2:00am

BINGO
Wednesday - Saturday
6:15pm Warm Ups
6:30pm Early Birds
7:00pm Regular Games
Sunday
12:15pm Warm Ups
12:30pm Early Birds
1:00pm Regular Games

The gift shop will be open and only two (2) guests will be allowed at one time in accordance with our social distancing procedures.

I assure you Cher-Ae Heights is fully committed to following recommended health and safety protocols to protect our employees and guests. We will continue to monitor health advisories to re-evaluate and make adjustments in the coming weeks and months.

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to welcoming you back!

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Frankovich Modifies Shelter-in-Place Order to Allow Additional Businesses to Reopen Upon Safety Plan Approval

Posted By on Tue, May 19, 2020 at 5:14 PM

Humboldt County Public Health Officer Teresa Frankovich and Sheriff William Honsal talk COVID-19 at last night's virtual town hall meeting. - COURTESY OF DHHS
  • Courtesy of DHHS
  • Humboldt County Public Health Officer Teresa Frankovich and Sheriff William Honsal talk COVID-19 at last night's virtual town hall meeting.
Humboldt County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich issued an Order of the Health Officer to modify the shelter-in-place to allow additional businesses to reopen once their safety plans are approved.

The order is part of "Stage Two" of the county's reopening plan to allow businesses with a lower risk of COVID-19 transmission to resume operations.

“I want to open businesses as fast as safely possible, so Public Health will follow the data very closely to determine the next steps forward for our county,” Frankovich said in the press release. “We need to be thoughtful and consider all aspects of our community’s health, including economic and mental health as we plan for further reopenings.”

Continue reading »

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Humboldt County Public Health Reports Second COVID-19 Death

Posted By on Tue, May 19, 2020 at 2:29 PM

PUBLIC HEALTH
  • public health
A second Humboldt County resident has died of COVID-19, Humboldt County Public Health reports.

The deceased individual was a resident at Alder Bay Assisted Living Facility in Eureka,  marking the second time one of their residents has died from the disease. The facility has seen a spike in COVID-19 Cases as a total of seven residents and four staff members having tested positive for the virus as of yesterday.

Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich said her sympathies are with the resident’s family.

“Our community mourns this second loss,” she said. “The death puts a harsh focus on the reality of this virus. Elderly and medically fragile individuals overall are at higher risk for severe illness. Sadly, they are also at increased risk of succumbing to the infection, even with excellent medical care," she said in a release.

Read the full release below:

A second Humboldt County resident has died after having been diagnosed with COVID-19.

The individual was an elderly resident of the Alder Bay Assisted Living facility. Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich said her sympathies are with the resident’s family. “Our community mourns this second loss,” she said. “The death puts a harsh focus on the reality of this virus. Elderly and medically fragile individuals overall are at higher risk for severe illness. Sadly, they are also at increased risk of succumbing to the infection, even with excellent medical care.” “As a community, we need to help protect these individuals by embracing prevention measures such as using facial coverings, social distancing and avoiding gatherings of those outside our household,” Frankovich said. “Less virus circulating in the community means less chance of virus entering the facility.” The death was reported by St. Joseph Hospital, one day after Humboldt County’s first COVID-related death.

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Structure Fire on Ole Hansen Road in Freshwater

Posted By on Tue, May 19, 2020 at 1:06 PM

HUMBOLDT BAY FIRE/FACEBOOK
  • Humboldt Bay Fire/Facebook
Humboldt Bay Fire crews were dispatched to Ole Hansen Road in Freshwater at 3:46 a.m. where a detached garage was engulfed in flames.

According to a press release, the crews were able to stop the fire from spreading to the house. No injuries were reported but all the contents in the garage, two vehicles and landscaping equipment valued at $300,000 were lost.

At this time the cause of the fire is still unknown.

Humboldt Bay Fire is reminding residents to check their smoke detectors and fire alarms. 


Read the full press release below:
On Tuesday, May 19 at 3:46 a.m. Humboldt Bay Fire crews were dispatched to the 100 block of Ole Hansen Road for report of a garage on fire.

As crews approached, they saw smoke and flames from up to two miles away before approaching the long, steep, narrow driveway that stretched 1,200 feet up to the home. This entry hindered access of fire apparatus and complicated water supply.

In addition to the four engines and one truck that make up HBF’s typical compliment, the incident commander also ordered for two water tenders to mitigate for the rural water supply issue.

At the top of the drive, crews found a fully involved detached garage with smoke and flames pushing through the ceiling and threatening the home. Crews immediately went into exposure protection mode, blasting the seat of the fire with water and containing it to the garage. Through these efforts, the crews were able to save the home valued at over $500,000. Damage is estimated to be approximately $10,000 worth of cosmetic damage.

Unfortunately, there was no saving the garage and its contents which were already fully engulfed in flames upon crews’ arrival. The damage to the garage, containing two vehicles and lawn equipment is valued at $300,000.

Thanks to the family dog who was able to alert the owners of the fire, all occupants made it out safely and there were no injuries to the occupants or fire personnel.

At this time, the cause of the fire is undetermined.

Humboldt Bay Fire would like to thank Kneeland Volunteer Fire Department for standing by to assist. This incident serves as a reminder for us all to check our smoke detectors and fire alarms, as well as evaluate our homes for unique areas like detached garages that may call for early warning systems.

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Humboldt County Public Health Lab Receives Testing Reagents, Increasing Testing Capacity

Posted By on Tue, May 19, 2020 at 12:38 PM

From left, Hanson, Efrey and Public Health Lab Manager Jeremy Corrigan. - HUMCO COVID/FACEBOOK
  • HumCo COVID/Facebook
  • From left, Hanson, Efrey and Public Health Lab Manager Jeremy Corrigan.
The Humboldt County COVID-19 information Facebook page is reporting that Humboldt County Public Health Lab received testing reagents for 420 more COVID-19 tests on Monday.

According to the post, they were flown up by Andrew Hanson and Alex Efrey from the California National Guard 95th Civil Support Team in Hayward.

The delivery increases the Lab’s testing capacity and will be processed by a Cepheid GeneXpert machine purchased through Homeland Security funds.

Check out the original Facebook post below: 
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House Fire in Fortuna

Posted By on Tue, May 19, 2020 at 6:27 AM


A two-story wooden home caught on fire on Fortuna’s Main Street between Sixth and Seventh streets about 11 p.m. on Monday night.

“We woke up at 11 to our house completely orange,” said MaKayla S Barnhart, a Fortuna resident who captured the above video. “[We] called 911 and they were already almost here.”

The fire started in the garage, Barnhart believes. She said the house is badly burned and a shed also caught on fire.

Fortuna Police are warning residents to avoid Main Street between Sixth and Seventh streets, as the road is closed in that area.
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Monday, May 18, 2020

Vehicle Collision and Extrication on E Street and Henderson; Humboldt Bay Fire Urges Extra Caution Driving in Rainy Weather Conditions

Posted By on Mon, May 18, 2020 at 4:24 PM

A two-vehicle collision on E Street and Henderson, May 18. - HUMBOLDT BAY FIRE
  • Humboldt Bay Fire
  • A two-vehicle collision on E Street and Henderson, May 18.
Humboldt Bay Fire is urging drivers to take extra caution when driving during rainy weather conditions as the fire department responded to another call of extrication from a vehicle collision on E Street and Henderson Center.

The fire crew was able to extricate the drivers and one passenger quickly. One driver was taken to the hospital for minor injuries and the other denied the need for treatment and transport.
A two-vehicle collision on E Street and Henderson, May 18. - HUMBOLDT BAY FIRE
  • Humboldt Bay Fire
  • A two-vehicle collision on E Street and Henderson, May 18.
Humboldt Bay Fire says you should follow these safety tips when driving in rainy conditions:
  • Slow down and turn your headlights on.
  • Be extra cautious around turns and take time to replace your windshield wipers, if needed.
  • Maintain a safe following distance and give yourself more time to get where you need to go.
Read the full Humboldt Bay Fire press release below:

On Monday, May 18, at 3:11 p.m. Humboldt Bay Fire crews responded to a call for an extrication at the corner of E and Henderson streets after two vehicles collided, sending one into the corner of a nearby business.

Humboldt Bay Fire crews were able to extricate the drivers and one passenger quickly. One driver was transported to the hospital by City Ambulance with minor treatment. The other driver and passenger denied the need for treatment and transport.

This is the second traffic collision requiring extrication that Humboldt Bay Fire has responded to today. We cannot stress enough the need for drivers to slow down and drive defensively under rainy conditions. Intermittent downpours today limited visibility and caused the roads to be slicker and more dangerous.

Please follow these safety tips when driving in rainy conditions:
Slow down and turn your headlights on.
Be extra cautious around turns and take time to replace your windshield wipers, if needed.
Maintain a safe following distance and give yourself more time to get where you need to go.
Thank you to Eureka Police Department and City Ambulance for their assistance on scene.

#ArriveAlive

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