Wednesday, October 21, 2020

UPDATE: Hundreds in Humboldt Slated to Lose Power

Posted By on Wed, Oct 21, 2020 at 7:44 PM

UPDATE:

While PG&E has reduced the size of an upcoming Public Safety Public Shutoff, Humboldt County remains in the scope, with a little under 300 customers in Alderpoint, Blocksburg, Bridgeville, Dinsmore and Kneeland expected to be impacted starting around 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. on Thursday.

A Community Resource Center is slated to be opened in Bridgeville, according the Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services.

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Nearly 300 customers in Humboldt County are among an estimated 50,000 in 18 other counties slated to have their power shutoff due to high-fire risk conditions, according to PG&E.

For those affected, the local Public Safety Power Shutoff is expected to being around 7 p.m. Thursday and last until 10 p.m. Friday. 

A fire weather watch has been issued by the Eureka office of the National Weather Service for parts of the region due to gusty winds and low humidity beginning around 10 p.m. on Tuesday and lasting until Thursday morning.



To look up whether a specific address is included in a PSPS click here.


Meanwhile, the vast majority of Humboldt is expected to be powered via the “islanding” of the Humboldt Bay Power Plant, one of several changes PG&E made to its Public Safety Power Shutoffs in the aftermath last year’s chaotic and costly outages. Read more here.
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Humboldt Marks 8 Months Since First COVID Case

Posted By on Wed, Oct 21, 2020 at 4:11 PM

Eight months after Humboldt had its first confirmed COVID-19 case, becoming the first rural county in the United States to do so, the case total stands at 560, with Public Health reporting two positive tests today.

“We’ve all been living through this pandemic for quite a while, and that can take a toll,” County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich said in a news release. “Maintaining relationships with our loved ones, getting adequate exercise and taking time to unwind are just a few healthy coping strategies that can be enjoyed while following COVID safety precautions.”

Under California Department of Public Health data released Tuesday, Humboldt County remains in the yellow or minimal tier under the state’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy,” with a positivity rate of 0.5 percent and an adjusted case rate of 1.

But health officials warn a spike in cases would be enough to push Humboldt back into a more restrictive tier.

Right now, under the lower risk category, most indoor businesses — including bars — can reopen but the county can put further restrictions in place, according to the state. Only seven other counties in California are currently in the minimal tier. Read more about what it means here.

Today's results included 296 test samples. To date, Humboldt County has seen 36 hospitalizations and nine COVID-related deaths, the most recent a 38-year-old man.

The Humboldt County Data Dashboard was updated last week to include hospitalization rates by age group, death rates by age group and case totals by ZIP code, the latter of which are reported in "a range of 0 to 5 for case count until the area surpasses 5 total cases," according to a county news release.

After that threshold has been reached in a ZIP code, the exact number will be included.


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

Read the county's news release below:

Continue reading »

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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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August Complex: Perimeter Mostly Contained, Fire Weather Watch Tonight

Posted By on Wed, Oct 21, 2020 at 11:44 AM

August Complex:  1,032,264 acres Containment: 91 percent

The majority of the August Complex’s perimeter is contained, according to this morning’s update, with the lines are secure and mopped up and no “significant heat sources” around the edge.

A fire weather watch goes into effect for the fire area and much of the region, beginning this evening and ending Friday morning.
“In some cases, this buffer zone extends as much as 300-feet into the fire area,” the update states. “The fire is contained inside the perimeter and does not have adequate fuel in the buffer zone to escape containment.”

There are still a “few small areas” outside of fire lines, including Kettenpom and surrounding vicinity, which has “interior pockets of unburned fuels continue to be consumed.” According to the update, crews are making progress in the area.

To the north, near Coffee Pot Road, firefighters were able to strengthen the line there with a burning operation. Air operations dropped more than 8,000 gallons of fire retardant near Irish Mountain, where the fire has not spread in the last several day. Similarly, minimal activity has been reported around Beegen Thumb.

Crews are working with residents of the Ruth Lake area on identifying and removing hazardous trees and patrols are ongoing to look out for possible hidden hot spots.

Caltrans is also working on State Route 36 to find and remove trees that could prove dangerous. A closure on the roadway remains in place from Southfork Summit Mountain east to Highway 3. At 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. daily, traffic is being escorted through the closure but Caltrans is asking people to take alternative routes.

Find more information here
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Garberville Homicide Victim Identified as 21-year-old Redding Woman

Posted By on Wed, Oct 21, 2020 at 10:50 AM

cover-badge_.jpg
The Humboldt County Coroner’s Office has positively identified the human remains discovered near the south Fork of the Eel River in Garberville Oct. 9 as those of 21-year-old Kadie Lynn Jones, of Redding.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is investigating Jones’ death as a homicide after her body was found in a brush fire near the river bar. Investigators are now asking for the public’s assistance in finding information about Jones’ whereabouts in the days leading up to her death.

Jones is described as having stood approximately 5 feet tall and weighing 110 pounds, with brown/blond hair and blue eyes.

The Sheriff’s Office asks anyone who may have seen her in the Garberville area from Oct. 5 through Oct. 9 to call 445-7251 or the crime tip line at 268-2539.

See the full press release from the Sheriff's Office copied below:


Continue reading »

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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Humboldt Holds onto 'Minimal' Risk Tier

Posted By on Tue, Oct 20, 2020 at 4:07 PM

Public Health confirmed four new COVID-19 cases today, bringing the county's total at 558. Another hospitalization was also reported.

Under new California Department of Public Health data, Humboldt County continues its stay in the yellow or minimal tier under the state’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy,” with a positivity rate of 0.5 percent and an adjusted case rate of 1.0.

But health officials warn Humboldt's hold in the tier could be fleeting.

Under the lower risk category, most indoor businesses — including bars — can reopen but the county can put further restrictions in place, according to the state. Only seven other counties in California are currently in the minimal tier. Read more about what it means here.

Today's results included 93 test samples. To date, Humboldt County has seen 36 hospitalizations and nine deaths, the most recent being a 38-year-old man, according to the Times-Standard, which reports Sheriff William Honsal described him as a "fairly healthy" individual with "underlying conditions" who tested positive during his autopsy, the results of which are pending.

The Humboldt County Data Dashboard was updated last week to include hospitalization rates by age group, death rates by age group and case totals by ZIP code, the latter of which will be reported in "a range of 0 to 5 for case count until the area surpasses 5 total cases," according to a county news release.

After that threshold has been reached in a ZIP code, the exact number will be included. Both Arcata and Eureka showed an increase in cases compared to last week.

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.

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NWS Issues Freeze Watch

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

freeze_watch.jpg
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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Monday, October 19, 2020

Crash by the Bayshore Mall

Posted By on Mon, Oct 19, 2020 at 6:29 PM

A two-car crash this afternoon by the Bayshore Mall. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • A two-car crash this afternoon by the Bayshore Mall.
About 5:45 p.m., two vehicles collided at the Bayshore Mall.

Southbound traffic is backed up from Truesdale to Vigo on Broadway with both lanes closed. But northbound traffic is open though slightly slowed. Southbound traffic is being diverted through the mall.
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Head-on Crash on Samoa Bridge

Posted By on Mon, Oct 19, 2020 at 4:48 PM

Scene of the Samoa Bridge crash. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • Scene of the Samoa Bridge crash.
Humboldt Bay Battalion Chief Chris Emmons said four patients were taken to the hospital with moderate and major injuries after a Dodge truck and a SUV collided head on while crossing the Samoa Bridge just before 4 p.m.

The road was temporarily closed in both directions but one lane is now open and both will be soon. Please be cautious because crews are still clearing the area.

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Humboldt Sees Ninth COVID-Related Death: A Person in Their 30s

Posted By on Mon, Oct 19, 2020 at 4:18 PM

Public Health reported a person in their 30s has become Humboldt County's ninth COVID-related death, with 10 new cases confirmed since Friday, bringing the county's total at 554.

County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich offered her sympathies.

“To those who have been impacted by this loss, our thoughts are with you,” she said in a news release.

Humboldt remains in the state's "minimum" risk tier but health officials have warned that a spike in cases could send Humboldt back into a more restrictive tier.
New data on Humboldt's case rate and positivity rate, as well as statewide stats, are scheduled to be released tomorrow.

Under the lower risk category, most indoor businesses — including bars — can reopen but the county can put further restrictions in place, according to the state. Only seven other counties in California are currently in the minimal tier. Read more about what it means here.

The Humboldt County Data Dashboard was updated last week to include hospitalization rates by age group, death rates by age group and case totals by ZIP code, the latter of which will be reported in "a range of 0 to 5 for case count until the area surpasses 5 total cases," according to a county news release.

After that threshold has been reached in a ZIP code, the exact number will be included. Both Arcata and Eureka showed an increase in cases compared to last week.

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.
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