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Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Friday, August 11th, 2017.

Toxic waste from U.S. pot farms alarms experts

Clean Water ACT - EPA, Marijuana

Reuters

By Sharon Bernstein

August 7, 2017

Video by Wochit News

Pollution from illegal marijuana farms deep in California’s national forests is far worse than previously thought, and has turned thousands of acres into waste dumps so toxic that simply touching plants has landed law enforcement officers in the hospital.

The volume of banned or restricted pesticides and illegally applied fertilizers in the woods dwarfs estimates by the U.S. Forest Service in 2014, when a top enforcement official testified that the pollution was threatening forest land in California and other states.

California accounts for more than 90 percent of illegal U.S. marijuana farming, with much of it exported to other states from thousands of sites hidden deep inside forested federal land, and more on private property, law enforcement officials said. The state is still developing a licensing system for growers even though legal retail sales of the drug will begin next year, and medical use has been allowed for decades.

Ecologist Mourad Gabriel, who documents the issue for the Forest Service as well as other state, local and federal law enforcement agencies, estimates California’s forests hold 41 times more solid fertilizers and 80 times more liquid pesticides than Forest Service investigators found in 2013.

Growers use fertilizers and pesticides long restricted or banned in the United States, including carbofuran and zinc phosphide. In previous years, it was commonly sold fertilizers and pesticides that were used illegally, law enforcement officials said.

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KNF: Lightning Fire Update

FIRES, Forestry & USFS

August 11, 2017

YREKA, Calif. – Lightning storms have continued to move through the Klamath National Forest the past two days, igniting more fires across the forest. The storm activity is forecast to abate this weekend, providing much needed relief from more lightning.

Fire personnel have located an estimated 31 new fires from storms since last Sunday. Of these fires, 23 have been contained and are in patrol status. Fire personnel continue to work toward containment on the other fires, and also to respond to new smokes being reported. “Holdover” fires will continue to emerge in the coming days as they dry from the rain they arrived with.

Fires of note include the Garden Fire, burning in the South Fork Salmon River about two miles east of Petersburg near Garden Gulch.  Current size estimate for Garden is 50 acres.  The fire is being staffed by eight smoke jumpers, a Type Two Initial Attack crew and a Type One Interagency Hotshot Crew for a total of 48 firefighters.  This fire is burning in the footprint of the 2006 Rush Fire.

The Prescott Fire, burning near Prescott Peak in the Siskiyou Wilderness, is estimated at 40 acres and received moisture from last night’s thunderstorm.  The Prescott fire is in a confinement strategy and is being monitored by aircraft.

The Island fire on the North Fork of the Salmon River, burning since late June, continues to exhibit minimal fire activity, is approximately 1500 acres, and is being staffed by a 10 person wildland fire module.

The Clear and Cedar fires, burning south of Happy Camp and west of Seiad Valley, respectively, will have their own update that will be released later today.

Please continue to be careful with fire, and remember, “One Less Spark, One Less Wildfire.”

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Klamath National Forest: Cedar Fire and Clear Fire Update, August 11

Forestry & USFS

PNP comment: There is more smoke and haze in Scott Valley tonight than their has been. It got quite hot this afternoon, but has cooled down to about 70 degrees. Hope it gets down into the 50s tonight! — Editor Liz Bowen

Happy Camp, CA – August 11, 2017 – The Clear Fire, which started from lightning on July 25, and the Cedar Fire that started by lightning on August 8, are being managed together by an incident management team.

The Clear Fire is about 7 miles southwest of Happy Camp.  As of last night the Clear Fire was 6,553 acres and 62% contained.  The Clear Fire perimeter is in various stages of mop up, patrol, or suppression repair status with the exception of a short section of containment line in the southwestern tip of the fire expected to be completed today. With most of the fire’s perimeter secure, people and equipment are being shifted to the Cedar Fire.

The Cedar Fire is about burning about one mile east of the Cedar/Thompson Creek confluence, about eight miles northwest of Seiad.  The fire is estimated at 350 acres.  Fire managers are putting a comprehensive suppression plan in place today that includes continuing to open and clear old dozer lines and linking them with handline.  Most work today will be on the south side of the fire.

Lightning with moderate to heavy rain occurred on both fire areas last night.  Again today both fire areas are under a Red Flag warning until 10 p.m. for abundant lightning on dry fuels.  Similar to yesterday thunderstorm cells may produce erratic, gusty winds, and locally heavy rain.
Smoke in the Seiad area was thick yesterday afternoon.  A daily Air Quality Report for all large wildfires in northwest California is posted on the Clear Fire (https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5433/ ) and Cedar Fire https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5482/ ) Inciweb pages.

In the interest of public safety, the Klamath National Forest has closed certain roads and trails through Emergency Order No. 17-05-796, in the Clear Fire area (also posted on the posted on the Clear Fire Inciweb page).  Emergency closures for the Cedar Fire will be issued soon.  The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) will not be directly affected by road or trail closures, although trails near the fire that link to the PCT may be closed.
Additional information about the Clear Fire and the Cedar Fire is available on the U.S. Forest Service – Klamath National Forest Facebook page and on Inciweb, and on bulletin boards in Happy Camp.  Information can also be obtained from the Happy Camp Ranger District at (530) 493-2243.

Please continue to be careful with fire, and remember, “One Less Spark, One Less Wildfire.”

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