Environment / Natural Resources

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Slater Fire Evacuation Order Lifted, No Growth for Devil Fire

Posted By on Sat, Oct 31, 2020 at 10:49 AM

According to a press release from the U.S. Forest Service, evacuation orders relating to the Slater Fire have all been lifted as of 8 a.m. today.

Slater Fire 157,169 acres, 85 percent containment
The release states, an infrared detection flight revealed some 74 acres of fire spread along southwestern Swan Mountain and Thompson Creek headwaters, but "limited" spread elsewhere.

Devil Fire 8,885 acres, 67 percent containment
The release notes "no measurable fire growth for several days."

See the full press release in English and Spanish below:

Continue reading »

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Friday, October 30, 2020

Increased Risk of Sneaker Waves Sunday night to Monday

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2020 at 2:54 PM

sneaker_waves.jpg
The National Weather Service Eureka has issued a warning to beachgoers as a swell will bring sneaker waves on the coast Sunday night into Monday.

According to NWS, periods of smaller waves will be accompanied by sudden larger waves that have the potential to sweep beachgoers into the water.

NWS advises residents to not be caught off guard by otherwise good weather and to avoid steep beaches, rocks, and jetties.

"Remember to never turn your back on the ocean," the warning reads. 
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Suspect Arrested for Illegal Burn That Caused Church Fire

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2020 at 1:54 PM

Smoke rising from the Church Fire. - CALFIRE
  • CalFire
  • Smoke rising from the Church Fire.
The Church Fire, which began earlier this week near Highway 169, has been determined to be caused by an escaped illegal debris burn at the residency of Louie Meyers, who has been arrested for alleged reckless burning, reckless burning during a declared state of emergency and burning during a burn suspension.

The vegetation fire was contained at 1 1/2 acres with two structures and one commercial vehicle destroyed.

"The CAL FIRE Humboldt - Del Norte Unit would like to remind the public the burn suspension is still in effect. While cooler temperatures have become more prevalent, heavier vegetative fuels remain critically dry and will continue to carry fire. Burn permits are required year-round by the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District, and, depending on the time of year and pile size, may also be required by CAL FIRE," the release states.

Read the full press release below.
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Preparing to Fall Back, Huffman Touts Daylight Saving Bill

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2020 at 12:59 PM

Jared Huffman. - CONGRESS
  • Congress
  • Jared Huffman.
With Californians staring down the reality of moving their clocks back an hour at 2 a.m. Sunday, North Coast Representative Jared Huffman is touting a bill he's co-sponsoring that would allow states the option of staying on daylight savings time all year.

When the clocks fall back Sunday morning, we'll gain an hour of sleep but lose an hour of daylight. Huffman isn't too bullish on the tradeoff, and remains hopeful the bill he's co-sponsored with Rep. Bob Bishop (R-Utah) will get some traction before the end of the year.

“I don’t want to extend the year 2020 by a single minute, much less a full hour!” Huffman quipped on Twitter.

In 2018, California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 7 to switch permanently over to daylight saving time but the measure needs to be ratified by a two-thirds vote in the state Senate, which hasn’t happened yet. And even if it did, California would simply join the ranks of a dozen states waiting for required Congressional approval to make the switch — that is, unless the bill co-sponsored by Huffman passes and is signed into law, giving states the right to choose for themselves how to set their clocks.

But for now, remember to set your clocks back an hour before going to sleep Saturday night.
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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Power Restored to All Humboldt County Residents

Posted By on Tue, Oct 27, 2020 at 10:31 AM

pge.jpg
The Humboldt Office of Emergency Services has announced that PG&E has restored all power to Humboldt County homes.

PG&E had initiated a Public Safety Power Shutoff on Oct. 25, because of a Red Flag Warning that began on the same day. Only Southern Humboldt Residents were impacted.

PG&E Community Resource Centers have closed.

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Saturday, October 24, 2020

Fire Updates: August Complex's Northwest Zone Nears Full Containment

Posted By on Sat, Oct 24, 2020 at 2:24 PM

A fire line on the August Complex. - U.S. FOREST SERVICE
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • A fire line on the August Complex.
Crews continue to report good news on the fire front, even as blazes continue to encircle Humboldt County. Here’s a quick update on the three fires that have been burning to Humboldt’s east, north and south, as well as the one that sparked yesterday near Carlotta.

The Redwood Fire, 102 acres, 80 percent contained

CalFire's Humboldt-Del Norte Unit was able to get a quick handle on the fire that started yesterday near Redwood House and Kneeland roads, northwest of Bridgeville. No structures have been threatened by the fire, which crews are battling by building a perimeter and dropping fire retardant from above.

Red Salmon Complex, 143,641 acres, 75 percent contained

Burning 14 miles north of Willow Creek and abutting the Hoopa Valley Reservation, the Red Salmon Complex Fire remains active across Klamath, Six River sand Shasta-Trinity national forest lands.

Fire crews reported that a cold front that moved into the area last night lowered temperatures and increased humidity levels, aicingfire fighting efforts. But a Red Flag warning is expected to go into effect tomorrow morning and stretch into Monday as the humidity lowers and winds pick up.

"Fuel moisture levels remain low allowing the fire to remain active for the near future with moderate fire behavior," an update states. "Rain is not forecast in the immediate future. Smoke impacting the area remains likely due to continued burning in the interior of the fire area."

Crews continue working to fully contain the fire and as containment increases, those efforts will shift toward fire suppression operations. Read more here.

August Complex, 1 million acres, 93 percent contained
While the largest wildfire in California history remains active, great strides have been made on its northwestern edge, which had threatened southeastern Humboldt County and prompted evacuations. And fire crews expect cool temperatures with high humidity levels today to further aid suppression efforts.

"The August Complex's western flank is fully contained, except for a section of line near the West Branch of the Van Duzen River," an update states. "Here crews have successfully held the fire within its current footprint and prevented additional growth. Expect containment Sunday, after which the west side of the fire will be fully contained from the south fork of the Trinity River to the Mendocino County line."

All evacuation warnings in Trinity County have been lifted. Read more here.

Slater and Red Devil Fires, 156,682 acres with 85 percent containment and 8,885 acres with 65 percent containment, respectively

A weather front moving into the area brings the chance of intermittent light rain and increased humidity levels today before Red Flag conditions are expected Sunday.

"Despite briefly higher humidity, fire activity could increase tomorrow with a potential for surface fire spread in areas that have sustained the most drying," an update states.

An evacuation order remains in effect in Happy Camp and portions of the Klamath, Six Rivers and Rogue River-Siskiyou national forests remain closed. Read the full update here.
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Friday, October 23, 2020

Update: Redwood Fire at 102 Acres, 50 Percent Containment

Posted By and on Fri, Oct 23, 2020 at 5:01 PM

CALFIRE
  • CalFire

UPDATE: According to a release from Cal Fire, the Redwood fire is now at 102 acres and is at 50 percent containment.

The fire is located in the Redwood House Road area of Carlotta. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. CalFire is advising residents to stay away from the area because of increased smoke and traffic. Suppression crews will be working in the area for the next couple of days.

Read the full CalFire release at the bottom of the post.

PREVIOUS: A vegetation fire, known as the Redwoods Incident, is burning about a 1/2 mile north of Highway 36 on Redwood House Road between Stevens Creek and Grizzly Creek.

The fire was reported at 12:45 p.m. as an acre fire but by 1 p.m., the fire is now said to be 10 acres spreading quickly with a potential for 50 acres. A full wildland response is rolling out.

UPDATE 1:12 p.m.: The fire is burning downhill at a moderate to a rapid rate of spread and is now about 15 acres estimates the Incident Commander. “It’s starting to transition from the grass to the timber,” the Commander tells dispatch. He requests more resources.

UPDATE 1:19 p.m.: “Approximately 35 acres,” the Incident Commander says to dispatch as he reiterates the fire is moving into the timber.

UPDATE 2:43 p.m.: According to the Incident Commander speaking over the scanner, there is 0 percent containment but the fire is holding within retardant lines at 60-70 acres.

CalFire press release:

The Redwood Incident began on October 23. 2020 at 12:41 PM.  The fire is located in the Redwood House Road Area  of Carlotta.   The fire is currently 102 acres and 50% contained.  The cause is under investigation and there is no current structure threat.  Suppression crews will be working in the area for the next couple of days.  Residents are advised to stay away from the area and there will be increased vehicle traffic and smoke in the area.


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Fire Weather Watch This Weekend; Possible PG&E PSPS

Posted By on Fri, Oct 23, 2020 at 2:09 PM

red_flag_warning_oct._25.jpg
The National Weather Service has issued another Red Flag warning for Sunday, Oct. 25 through Tuesday, Oct. 27.

Regions are expected to have east to northeast winds of 20 -30 mph with gusts of up to 50 mph, with very low daytime humidity and "poor to very poor overnight recoveries."

NWS is advising people to take fire safety precautions, avoid pulling off onto grassy areas, discard cigarette butts appropriately, avoid the use of sparks or flames and avoid dragging chains as sparks can ignite a fire.

Meanwhile, a new fire is now burning north of State Route 36 on Redwood House Road between Stevens Creek and Grizzly Creek, which was estimated to be around 60 to 70 acres, just before 3 p.m. (Read more here.)


At the same time, PG&E is monitoring these weather conditions for a possible Public Safety Power Shutoff from Sunday, Oct. 25 with restoration on Wednesday, Oct. 28, that will affect customers in Alderpoint, Ettersburg, Kneeland, Redcrest, Blocksburg, Fort Seward, Miranda, Redway, Bridgeville, Garberville, Myers Flat, Weott, Carlotta, Harris, Petrolia, Whitethorn, Dinsmore, Honeydew and Phillipsville. 

According to a Humboldt County OES release, "PG&E has not released information regarding activating the Humboldt Bay Power Plant in island mode or Community Resource Center information."

The county is advising residents in these areas to begin preparing for the impacts of a possible three-day power outage, including ensuring having adequate batteries, flashlights, non-perishable food and water. Residents are also encouraged to install carbon monoxide detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home.

Read the Humboldt County OES release below.

PG&E is monitoring a weather event late this weekend into early next week and is anticipating a Public Safety Power Shut Off for portions of Humboldt County beginning Sunday, October 25 with restoration anticipated Wednesday, October 28.

Residents in the following areas may lose power during this timeframe:
Alderpoint, Ettersburg, Kneeland, Redcrest, Blocksburg, Fort Seward, Miranda, Redway, Bridgeville, Garberville, Myers Flat, Weott, Carlotta, Harris, Petrolia, Whitethorn, Dinsmore, Honeydew and Phillipsville. 

All notifications and alerts regarding PSPS impacts will come directly from PG&E. Please sign up for those alerts at pgealerts.alerts.pge.com.PG&E has not released information regarding activating the Humboldt Bay Power Plant in island mode or Community Resource Center information. Once that information is available, we will share via our social media platforms.

Residents in these areas should begin preparing for the impacts of a three-day power outage, including ensuring you have adequate batteries, flashlights, non-perishable food and water. Residents are also encouraged to install carbon monoxide detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home.

Learn more about preparing for power outages at ready.gov/power-outages

For more information regarding this upcoming PSPS, visit pge.com/pspsupdates


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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Local Tribes Sponsor Day of Action for Removal of Klamath Dams

Posted By on Thu, Oct 22, 2020 at 4:31 PM

SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
Members of the Karuk, Yurok, Klamath and Hoopa Valley Tribes including different organizations throughout the U.S. are sponsoring a day of action for the removal of the Klamath dams on Friday, Oct. 23, demanding that Warren Buffett, owner of PacifiCorp and the Klamath River dams, keep his promise to remove the four dams.

In 2016, PacifiCorp had agreed to remove the hydroelectric dams from the Klamath River, however, in July the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruled that PacifiCorp could not simply hand-off the dams to a nonprofit created to remove them, which left the corporation wanting to renegotiate the terms of the agreement of the removal of the dams, halting a four-year battle to get the dams removed.

“It’s clear to us that Pacificorp is intentionally stalling the dam removal process in order to hold on to these monuments of colonialism and tools of genocide,” said  Yurok Tribal member, Annelia Hillman from the Klamath Justice Coalition. “They have an opportunity to set an example for how corporate America should treat
communities of color and Native Tribes. Instead they seem determined to destroy salmon, communities, and economies at the expense of their own customers. We refuse to accept this fate. The dams must come down.”
day_of_action_2.jpg

To join the virtual rally at 3:3o p.m., register at tinyurl.com/Mobilize4water. For more information on the Klamath Justice Coalition and other events visit californiasalmon.org.

Read the full press release below.

Warren Buffett Target of Klamath River Day of Action

Tribal people, Fishermen, Conservationists Will Host Actions in at least four major cities and online calling for Klamath Dam Removal on Oct. 23rd

Klamath, California - Members of the Karuk, Yurok, Klamath and Hoopa Valley Tribes, fishermen, Klamath river users, and non-government organizations from throughout the nation are sponsoring a day of action for Klamath dam removal on October 23. They are demanding that Warren Buffet, the owner of  Pacific Power and the Klamath River dams, keep his promise to remove the dams.

“It’s clear to us that Pacificorp is intentionally stalling the dam removal process in order to hold on to these monuments of colonialism and tools of genocide,” said Yurok Tribal member, Annelia Hillman from the Klamath Justice Coalition. “They have an opportunity to set an example for how corporate America should treat communities of color and Native Tribes. Instead they seem determined to destroy salmon, communities, and economies at the expense of their own customers. We refuse to accept this fate. The dams must come down!”

The groups are calling on  everyone who is committed to the survival of Pacific Salmon, Native American rights and clean water  to join them. A virtual rally and COVID-safe actions are being planned in several cities, includingWarren Buffett’s hometown Omaha, Nebraska. The day of action will also include educational outreach and efforts to block Berkshire Hathaway from brokering business deals in other cities. People and organizations from Seattle, Portland, Oregon, Klamath, Washington DC, San Diego and other cities plan to participate.

“Tribal members are not going to allow corporate America to break agreements and contracts with our people in the same manner as the United States has with treaties.” said Thomas Joseph, a Hoopa Valley Tribal member who is driving to Omaha to rally with Nebraska Tribes. “Warren Buffet and Berkshire Hathaway have agreed to these dam removals and they must keep their word.”

The plan to remove four lower Klamath River dams appeared to be on track to start by 2022 until July 16, 2020, when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) made the decision to partially transfer the Klamath dams to a dam removal entity and conditioned that PacifiCorp remained a co-licensee. Now, PacifiCorp says they might not remove the dams despite having collected $200 million from its ratepayers dam removal. The State of California has also earmarked $250 million in bond funding to support the project. PacifiCorp has indicated it is concerned about the potential for ongoing liability if it remains on the dam license when the facilities are removed.

“PacifiCorp committed to taking down the Klamath River dams by 2020. They collected the money to remove the dams and received state permits for dam removal, but now claim the deal is not good enough," said Regina Chichizola from Save California Salmon. "Buffett is the fourth richest man in the world. One of Berkshire Hathaway’s top shareholders is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates is the second richest man in the world. The nonprofit charged with removing the dams has already developed the most comprehensive liability protection packages for any dam removal project in history. We will not allow them to act like upstanding members of their own communities, while they destroy ours. We encourage everyone to plan actions online, and off, and to post videos, photos and their messages using the hashtag #UnDamtheKlamath.”

The Klamath dams promote the growth of toxic algae and contribute to  the collapse of Chinook and coho salmon runs. This has devastated sport, commercial and tribal fishing in the Klamath River and all along the California coast.

Chichizola added that organizers will also join people from the City of San Diego to oppose Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Energy’s bid to take over the City of San Diego’s power system. "The City of San Diego should understand that Berkshire Hathaway Energy is not a reliable partner,” she continued. “In addition to constantly moving the ball in negotiations over Klamath dam removal, BHE’s PacifiCorp was sued for starting one, or more, of Oregon and California’s recent wildfires. People who have experience with this company know that they care about profits, not people.”

Save California Salmon's virtual action effort is part of their Mobilizing Water Justice Week of Action with Humboldt State University Native American Studies Department, which will occur every day at 3:30 p.m. from Oct. 19-23 and take on issues such environmental racism in California water decisions, the Delta Tunnels’ impacts on native people, climate and fire, safe drinking water and saving the Klamath salmon. The public can register to attend these virtual events at tinyurl.com/Mobilize4water .

The Klamath Justice Coalition and other organizations will also be hosting vital and in-person actions all day. More information is at californiasalmon.org, @CaliSalmon on Twitter California Rivers on Instagram and Save California Salmon and Klamath Justice Coalition on Facebook. Supporters can register for the event at: tinyul.com/Mobilize4Water.
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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Updates: Progress on Red Salmon, Slater Fires

Posted By on Wed, Oct 21, 2020 at 12:51 PM

Red Salmon Complex: 143,300 acres Containment: 72 percent

With containment increasing, firefighters are pivoting from suppression to repair work and the task of recollecting equipment to take back to camp, including miles of hose, water pumps, and portable water tanks, according to today’s update.

Areas in the South Fork of the Salmon River, Methodist Creek, Plummer Creek, and the East Fork of the New River continued to see some fire activity, which was observed moving toward Plummer Creek to where it meets the Salmon River. Today, crews are slated to continue watching lines along Plummer Creek while suppression efforts continue near Salmon Ridge and Fawn Ridge. Suppression repair work is being conducted in areas of containment.

Fire managers continue to remind the public that the Red Salmon Complex is a restricted flight zone after a drone flown over the fire area on Oct. 17 interfered with firefighting efforts.

Read more about the fire here.

Slater Fire: 156,645 acres Containment: 82 percent

Crews found “very little heat” near the fire lines on the northern side, which air support is being used on the south side to watch containment lines there, especially in the Swan Mountain area, according to today’s report.

No fire movement was noted in the Chicago Creek drainage (east of Sanger Peak). Meanwhile, repair work in containment areas continues to the north and south as crews patrol for hot spots and mop up. The removal of hazards, including damaged trees, is ongoing along Grayback Road and is considered a priority.

Devil Fire: 8,885 acres Containment: 60 percent

The fire area continues to be monitored by aerial flights and ground patrols.

Read more about the fires here
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