Outdoors

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

High Surf, Hazardous Seas and Plunging Temps Ahead This Week

Posted By on Wed, Nov 4, 2020 at 12:06 PM

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Well, it’s been nice but the sunny skies and mild temperatures that Humboldt has been able to bask in all the way into November are moving over for a cold front due to arrive Thursday, bringing rain and plunging temperatures into the 40s and 50s through the weekend, according to the Eureka office of the National Weather Service.

Along the coast, temperatures are expected to drop by 10 to 15 degrees while inland areas are going to plummet by 20 to 30 degrees. Rainfall is expected to be heaviest in Del Norte County and Northern Humboldt.

“Morning temps will be quite chilly as well beginning on Friday, especially across the interior,” a Facebook post by the NWS states. “Monday morning may see some of the coldest temperatures of the season so far in some spots. Additionally, we have a Winter Weather Advisory for a few inches of snow above 4,000 feet in northern Trinity County on Friday.”

Meanwhile, the NWS states a low pressure system is forecast to move down the coast, with “gale force northerlies and very hazardous seas” starting to develop Friday afternoon into Saturday morning, before heading inland. High surf up to 20 feet is also possible at local beaches Friday afternoon and evening.
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Tuesday, November 3, 2020

National Forest Area Closure for Wildfire Suppression Efforts

Posted By on Tue, Nov 3, 2020 at 5:18 PM

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The Klamath and Six Rivers National Forest have issued an emergency area closure order for areas surrounding the Red Salmon Complex and areas near the Slater-Devil fires, effective Nov. 1 through Nov. 15, to help fire crews with wildfire-suppression efforts.

An additional order has been issued for Six River National Forest's portion of the Slater-Devil fire for Oct. 29 through Dec. 1.

"The temporary closure orders were implemented to promote public safety due to active fire within the containment perimeter. Fire blowups, fire runs and related suppression tactics are unpredictable, posing serious safety threats to individuals," reads the release.

As of Oct. 27, the Red Salmon Complex was at 143,826 acres with 78 percent containment.

As of yesterday, the Slater fire was at 157,173 acres with 85 percent containment and the Devil fire is at 8,856 acres with 67 percent containment.

Read the full U.S. Forest Service release below. 
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Monday, November 2, 2020

Cold Front, Rain Headed to Humboldt

Posted By on Mon, Nov 2, 2020 at 1:31 PM

Fall weather is ahead this week, with a cold front expected to hit the region late Thursday night, according to the Eureka office of the National Weather Service.

The front is expected to bring heavy to moderate rainfall to Del Norte County and parts of Northern Humboldt.

“Temperatures are expected to fall drastically on Friday behind the front, with snow showers possible in the mountains above about 4,000 feet,” the NWS post states.

A second front may make a pass in the region over the weekend, bringing the potential of more rain and snow.

A cold front will move across the area late Thursday night through early Friday morning, producing a period of moderate...

Posted by US National Weather Service Eureka California on Monday, November 2, 2020
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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

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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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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

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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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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

NWS Issues Freeze Watch

Posted By on Tue, Oct 20, 2020 at 2:20 PM

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The National Weather Service Eureka has issued a freeze watch for inland areas as cold temperatures are expected on Thursday morning. 

According to the warning, frost and freezing temperatures are expected in valleys of interior Humboldt and Trinity counties by early Thursday. The freeze watch has been issued for Thursday, Oct. 22, from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m.

Hoopa will see patchy frost before 8 a.m.

The NWS advises bringing inside any pets and sensitive plants on Wednesday night.
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Saturday, October 17, 2020

Otter Watch Out (Spoiler Alert: Cute Video)

Posted By on Sat, Oct 17, 2020 at 6:55 PM

If you see otters, like these on a log at the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge, let HSU’s River Otter Citizen Science Project know. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • If you see otters, like these on a log at the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge, let HSU’s River Otter Citizen Science Project know.
Once COVID-19 closed down the Humboldt State University campus, professor Jeff Black realized he wouldn't be walking to campus for his wildlife lectures, so he decided to get his daily exercise by going to the Arcata Marsh, while also keeping an eye out for otters.

And, he's asking others to do the same.

Spearheaded by Black, the River Otter Citizen Science Project started in 1999 looks to describe the distribution and populations of otters in the coasts, wetlands and watersheds of Humboldt, Del Norte and adjacent counties. Anytime residents or visitors spot an otter at any of these locations, they can document the data by reporting it on the River Otter Citizen Science website.

Out of the hundred times Black estimates he's visited the marsh in recent months, he says he's spotted otters about 80 times, maybe due to luck or because he’s learned a lot about how to find otters and the places where they tend to gather.

Since he began visiting the Arcata Marsh at the beginning of the pandemic, Black has seen two otters with a pup (he says if there was a way to grab the DNA of the second otter, we would be able to see that the otter is the daughter of the mother otter and  helping her with her newborn pup, as recent studies have shown). Black says he has seen the mother otter teach her pup where to hunt for food at different areas of the marsh.

Black has also seen a group of seven otters come through the marsh from Humboldt Bay, and a group of four hunt for food.

“It’s been really fun seeing the otters making use of the marsh,” Black says.

Black says that the number of otter sightings at the marsh haven’t changed during the pandemic, with about 400 sightings being reported to the River Otter Citizen Science Project — the same as past years.

With that being said, the city of Arcata recently reminded visitors and residents alike of the need to drive slowly near the marsh, especially on I Street, with not just otters but other wildlife making their way across local streets.

If you see an otter, no matter where you are, report it to the HSU’s River Otter Citizen Science Project here.
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Friday, October 16, 2020

Arkley's 'Dog Ranch' Peninsula Property Sold to Conservation Coalition

Posted By on Fri, Oct 16, 2020 at 1:26 PM

The Dog Ranch property's ocean view. - MICHAEL VAN HATTEM
  • Michael van Hattem
  • The Dog Ranch property's ocean view.
It turns out “never, ever, ever, ever, ever” isn’t so long after all — sometimes it's a little more than 15 years, in fact.

Back in 2005, after swooping in at the 11th hour to outbid Friends of the Dunes and the Humboldt Bay Harbor District for a 200-acre property on the Samoa Peninsula known as the Dog Ranch, foiling preservation plans, Eureka businessman and billionaire Rob Arkley made no effort to conceal his glee, according to a report in the Journal.

“They got in second place!” he said, adding that one of the first thing he intended to do was fence the property off from public access. “And it’ll never, ever, ever, ever be sold to them. I’m not going to give it to the government agencies. I believe there’s far too much government land.”

The Dog Ranch's ecologically significant coastal forest. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • The Dog Ranch's ecologically significant coastal forest.
While it’s unclear what prompted the change of heart or wallet, there clearly was a change, as Friends of the Dunes announced yesterday that it, the Harbor District, the Wildlife Conservation Board, the California Natural Resources Agency and the California Coastal Conservancy had completed a deal with Arkley’s Security National Investments X to purchase the property “for the purposes of conservation and public access.” Arkley put the property west of the Samoa Bridge — which included an older home, outbuildings, a ranch facility, a wide swath of sensitive dune habitats and an ecologically significant piece of coastal forest — back on the market in 2014 with an asking price of $2 million. Friends of the Dunes Executive Director Mike Cipra said the final purchase price was “right around” that number.

Cipra, who said he “picked up the keys from Security National this morning,” described the property as special and repeatedly expressed gratitude to the other agencies and organizations involved in the purchase.


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