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Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Friday, September 1st, 2017.

Klamath National Forest: Salmon-August Complex Fires Update 9-1-17

FIRES, Forestry & USFS

Salmon-August Complex Update
September 1, 2017

                                   Date Started: August 11, 2017                      Total Size: 32,669 acres

                                   Cumulative Containment: 19%                     Total Personnel: 1,539


Operational update: The Salmon August Complex fires have grown to 32,669 acres.  The Wallow fire makes up 30,556 of the total acres and has spread southwest down through English Peak near Chimney Rock.  There is a possibility for the fire to spread further southwest into the Yellow Dog Peak area today due to winds coming from the northeast and high temperatures.  Spotting of up to two miles continues to challenge the crews who are attempting to put in direct line along the fire’s edge.  Secondary lines and contingency lines continue to be established in the event the primary lines are unable to hold the fire.

On the northern end of the fire in Babs Creek and along Patterson Ridge, crews were able to strengthen and improve direct and indirect fire lines.  In the Etna Mill Creek area there was no significant movement of the fire yesterday.

There is an excessive heat warning for the Salmon August Complex from 11 a.m. today until 11 a.m. Monday 9/4/2017 due to increased temperature into the mid 90’s over the weekend. Relative humidity is expected to decrease to 8-12 percent. Firefighters will prepare for the active fire behavior that could occur as a result of this forecast.

Sawyers Bar Road may have intermittent road closures throughout today due to fire crews working in the area.

One Less Spark, One Less Wildfire: Firefighters ask that you be extremely careful and prevent new fire starts. Review fire restrictions on the Klamath National Forest and CAL FIRE websites and help out firefighters. http://www.preventwildfireca.org/OneLessSpark/

A partial forest closure order is in effect for the Marble Mountain Wilderness until the fire is declared out. The Pacific Crest Trail No. 2000 (Pacific Crest Trail) is included in the new closure from the intersection with Forest Trail No. 5545 (Kidder Creek Trail) to its intersection with Forest Trail No. 5542 (Shackleford Trail). Details of closure points can be found on InciWeb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5501/#

There are No Evacuation warnings or orders in place at this time.

Wallow Fire: 30,556 acres; 19% containment. Fire fighters working to prevent farther spread east of the PCT and south towards Sawyers Bar Road. This fire has grown into the Island Fire.

Island Fire: 1,692 acres; 60% confinement. The fire became active, and there was movement of the fire yesterday to the southwest.

Mary Fire: 142 acres; 10% containment; located five miles south of Cecilville on the divide between the Klamath and Shasta Trinity National Forests. Crews have cut line into the areas of most threat.

Rush Fire: 3 acres; 50% containment. Helitac and hotshot crews were able to keep the fire in check, and the area is being monitored.

Grizzly Fire: 90 acres; 100% containment.  Monitor and assess for any future operation needs.

Pointers Fire: 3 acres; 100% containment.

Garden Fire: 183 acres; 100% containment.

Residents within Siskiyou County can expect to see smoke for the next several days, from this complex and surrounding fires.  A daily Air Quality Report is posted on the fire’s Inciweb page.

For updated fire information, please visit InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5501/

For updated smoke forecasts, please visit http://bit.ly/2uSYloh

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POT growers arrested for allegedly trying to bribe Siskiyou Co. Sheriff Jon Lopey

CRIMINAL, Federal gov & land grabs, LAWS or law, Marijuana, Sheriff Jon Lopey

PNP comment: Just you watch — Siskiyou County will be called ‘racist’ from this situation. BUT, let everyone know that Siskiyou County ELECTED the 1st BLACK SHERIFF in the State of California in 1986 — OVER 30 YEARS AGO — Charlie Byrd, who was re-elected 3 more times! — Editor Liz Bowen


08/31/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/01/2017 06:39

Alleged Marijuana Growers In Siskiyou County Charged For Conspiring To Bribe Sheriff

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Chi Meng Yang, 31, of Montague, and his sister Gaosheng Laitinen, 36, of Mt. Shasta Vista, were charged today for conspiring to commit bribery, bribery of a public official, conspiracy to manufacture marijuana, and manufacturing marijuana, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to the criminal complaint, on May 17, 2017, Yang met with Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey in Yreka. During the meeting, Yang offered $1 million to the Sheriff in exchange for his assistance with an interstate marijuana distribution business that Yang and others were in the process of organizing.

Yang explained his role to be that of a representative for several families, himself included, that were currently cultivating marijuana in Siskiyou County. After the meeting, the Sheriff immediately reported it to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Federal agents asked the Sheriff to continue meeting with Yang.

At the request of, and in conjunction with the FBI and DEA, the Sheriff contacted Yang and indicated a willingness to work with him and the marijuana growers he represented. The subsequent meetings were audio and video recorded by the FBI. Laitinen attended some of those meetings. During those meetings, Yang and Laitinen talked with the Sheriff about how he could assist them.

Because Yang’s offer of $1 million was contingent on Yang securing and profiting from certain out-of-state marijuana licenses, Yang and Laitinen promised to pay the Sheriff a total of $80,000 if he would exempt eight properties from the Siskiyou County ban against outdoor marijuana grows. They sought protection from raids or other law enforcement actions on these eight properties where outdoor marijuana was being grown.

In furtherance of this plan, Yang and Laitinen gave the Sheriff several initial payments, totaling $10,500 in cash. These funds were immediately turned over to the FBI as evidence.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), North State Marijuana Investigation Team (NSMIT), Tehama Interagency Drug Enforcement (TIDE), Shasta Interagency Narcotics Task Force (SINTF), Siskiyou Unified Major Investigations Team (SUMIT), and California Highway Patrol (CHP). Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael M. Beckwith is prosecuting the case.

Yang was arrested today and is scheduled to make an initial court appearance on September 1, 2017, in Sacramento. If convicted of the charges in the complaint, Yang and Laitinen face the following maximum statutory penalties: (1) five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the conspiracy charge; (2) 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the bribery charge; and (3) a minimum of five years and up to 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine for the drug charges. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.


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Klamath National Forest: Update on Eclipse Fires 9-1-17

Federal gov & land grabs, FIRES, Forestry & USFS

Eclipse Complex Update, September 1, 2017
Klamath and Six Rivers National Forests

Crews Hold Lines Along Thompson Creek and Highway 96 as Fires Merge

Acres:  76,100 acres (from Infrared flight last night)          Cause:  Lightning
Containment:  25%                                                            Oak Fire:  57,500 acres
Cedar Fire:  8,450 Acres (includes Four Mile Fire)             Young Fire:  2,800 acres
Total personnel:  1,001

While crews continue strengthening and lengthening containment lines around communities, the Oak Fire spread north up Clear Creek in the Siskiyou Wildness and has nearly merged with the Young Fire. The Oak Fire remains east of the South Fork of the Smith River and is holding there. Areas between the Cedar and Four Mile fires burned out and the two fires have merged. They will now be referred to as the Cedar Fire. Containment lines west of Indian Creek are near completion to protect the Indian Creek drainage, should the Oak Fire move east in the Siskiyou Wilderness. Key primary containment lines are holding and being strengthened on the Four Mile Fire north of Thompson Creek and the Oak Fire along Benjamin Creek west of Happy Camp. Containment of these lines will require several days of additional patrol and mop-up by crews to remove any remaining heat near the lines. Crews made progress on the Oak Fire’s western side, constructing containment and contingency lines from Bear Basin Butte along Blue Ridge toward Sugarloaf Mountain. A contingency line is also being built from Ship Mountain south to Muslatt Mountain.

Today, fire crews are focused on strengthening primary containment lines, while extending important contingency lines to protect Indian Creek and mopping up and holding existing containments lines around Happy Camp.

Oak Fire:  On the Oak Fire’s southeast flank, crews will continue to improve, hold and mop-up containment lines near Benjamin Creek and other developed areas along Highway 96. The fire is expected to continue backing down to Highway 96, where roll-out of material continues. One-way traffic control will continue west of Happy Camp to keep the highway open while providing for public and firefighter safety. Crews will continue improving primary and contingency lines west of Indian Creek from Boulder Peak north to Kelly Lake. On the Oak Fire’s western flank, heavy equipment and crews will continue constructing indirect line construction along Blue Ridge, west of the South Fork of the Smith River, as a contingency line should the fire spot across the River. The Oak Fire is expected to continue to move north up Clear and Preston creek drainages and will likely join with the Young Fire today.

Cedar Fire:  Crews will continue to mop and patrol along Thompson Creek. Contingency lines along existing roads have been constructed on the west side of the Cedar Fire to prevent it from spreading west. Handline along the Fire’s east flank is preventing the fire from spreading east. Crews are monitoring the eastward spread of the Cedar Fire toward Red Butte Wilderness. The fire has crossed the ridgeline between Pyramid Peak and Figurehead Mountain at the wilderness boundary, where it showed little movement due to sparse fuels.

Young Fire:  Growth of the Young Fire has been held in check on the west and south flanks by a 2015 burn scar. On the Young Fire’s east flank, the fire continues to back into the Clear Creek Drainage toward the Oak Fire.

A Red Flag Warning remains in effect until 9:00 a.m. today. Gusty northeast winds are expected to develop today with extremely dry conditions. Wind speeds are expected to be 10-15 mph with gusts to 20 on ridge tops. Temperatures are expected to range from 85 to 100.

Heavy smoke is expected to continue in valley bottoms below an inversion layer. Residents of Happy Camp seeking clean air may visit the Karuk Senior Center between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Detailed smoke forecasts and information on smoke impacts can be found on the California Smoke Blog at californiasmokeinfo.blogspot.com.

Highway 96 west of Happy Camp remains open with the following restrictions for public and firefighter safety:  The highway is closed each morning from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and each evening from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. to allow for heavy firefighter traffic as day and night shifts rotate. During all other hours, one-way traffic control with a pilot car will be in place from 2.5 miles southwest of Happy Camp to south of Clear Creek Ranch. Delays range from 30 minutes to more than an hour, due to fire activity, heavy smoke and falling rock debris. This traffic control will be in place for as long as necessary to ensure safety. Refer to Caltrans for the latest information on road closures:  www.dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/display.php?page=sr36.

The Limited Evacuation Warning remains in effect for the area directly southwest of the Happy Camp Airport through the Clear Creek Area. To receive updates on changes to evacuation notices, residents should register with CodeRed, which has been instituted by Siskiyou County for rapid reverse 911 automated calls. To register for CodeRed, go to:  www.co.siskiyou.ca.us/content/codered-emergency-alert-system.

Fire Area Closure Orders:  Closures have been executed for roads and trails near many of the wildfires, including the Pacific Crest Trail, closing them to public entry to provide for safety. Additional information about the closures and fires is available on Inciweb at inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/closures/5511 and at key locations in Happy Camp, Seiad Valley and Gasquet.

One Less Spark – One Less Wildlife:  Firefighters ask that you be extremely careful and prevent new fire starts. Review fire restrictions on the Klamath and Six Rivers national forest websites and help firefighters.


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