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Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Sunday, September 3rd, 2017.

Siskiyou County: Evacuation order for Sawyers Bar Road and Salmon River residents from Etna Summit to Nordheimer Flat issued 9-3-17 8:30 p.m.

FIRES, Forestry & USFS

Salmon-August Complex Evacuation Order
September 3, 2017
8:30 p.m.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office has issued an Evacuation Order.  An evacuation order is put in place for the area from Etna Summit to Nordheimer Flat on Sawyers Bar Road.  This is an order to evacuate due to a wildfire in the area.  Etna High School will have a shelter in place.

An Evacuation Order is issued when movement of community members out of a defined area due to an immediate threat to life and property from an emergency incident. An Evacuation Order should be used when there is potential or actual threat to civilian life within 1 to 2 hours or when the incident commander deems it necessary to protect civilians.

Etna High School
400 Howell Ave
Etna, CA 96027

A RED FLAG WARNING was issued this evening (September 3, 2017) at 8:00pm and will expire at 9:00am tomorrow, September 4, 2017.  Gusty Northeast winds are expected tonight until tomorrow morning, along with low relative humidity creating critical fire conditions.

Questions should be referred to the Salmon August Complex information line at 530-572-1136.

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Bundy: Two walk free in new Bundy trial

Bundy Battle - Nevada, Bureau of Land Management, cattle, Constitution, CORRUPTION, Courts, CRIMINAL, Federal gov & land grabs

PNP comment: Theo brings us up-to-date with this article. — Editor Liz Bowen

 

https://wlj.net/article-14538-two-walk-free-in-new-bundy-trial.html

Two walk free in new Bundy trial

CATTLE AND BEEF INDUSTRY NEWS

SEP 1, 2017

By THEODORA JOHNSON, WLJ CORRESPONDENT

— Lovelien, Steward found not guilty on 10 charges

Cliven Bundy, the major player in the April 2014 Bunkerville standoff, speaking at a forum hosted by the American Academy for Constitutional Education (AAFCE) at the Burke Basic School in Mesa, AZ, July 2014. Used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo by Gage Skidmore.

Two men involved in the 2014 Bunkerville standoff between citizens and the BLM walked free on Aug. 22. In this, the second trial related to the standoff, a federal jury found Richard Lovelien of Oklahoma and Steven Stewart of Idaho not guilty of 10 felony charges brought by the federal government.

Lovelien and Stewart had been part of what the government called a “massive, unprecedented assault on law enforcement officers” near Bunkerville, NV, which saw armed supporters of rancher Cliven Bundy square off against BLM agents who had gathered his cattle for impoundment.

Two other men—Eric Parker and Scott Drexler, both of Idaho— were also part of the standoff and tried in the most recent trial. All four men were cleared of the two most serious counts: 1) conspiracy to commit an offense against the U.S.; and 2) conspiracy to impede or injure a federal officer.

All four were also found not guilty of: 1) obstruction of the due administration of justice; 2) interfering with interstate commerce or travel through extortion; and 3) use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

While Lovelien and Stewart were cleared on all counts, the jury was hung on charges against Drexler and Parker relating to threatening a federal officer and carrying a firearm while threatening or assaulting a federal officer.

Acting U.S. Attorney Steven Myhre, the Nevada prosecutor, has vowed to put Parker and Drexler on trial a third time for the undecided charges.

“Raising a firearm against a federal law enforcement officer, or any law enforcement officer, is a crime,” said Myhre the day after the verdict.

Though no shots were fired throughout the standoff, Parker could still face decades or even life in prison if he is found guilty of assaulting and threatening a federal officer. Drexler likely faces five to 10 years in prison if he is charged with assault of a federal officer while brandishing a firearm.

U.S. District Court Judge Gloria Navarro, who oversaw the case, released the two but ordered them to return to her courtroom Sept. 25 for the next trial. Trial omissions

While both sides at the recent trial were prepared with arguments as to how the other side had escalated the tension at the standoff, Navarro issued an order on July 9 that limited the arguments the defense could present to the jury. For example, the defense was not allowed to talk about certain BLM actions that were perceived as brutal or excessive use of force, nor about the defendants’ constitutional beliefs.

For example, her order banned any discussion of “officer encounters with civilians during the arrest of Dave Bundy…; …officer encounters with civilians during the convoy block…; officer encounters with Ammon Bundy or Margaret Houston (who were tasered); [or] third-party/lay person testimony or opinion about the level of force displayed or used by law enforcement officers during impoundment operations…” Furthermore, Navarro prevented the jury from hearing the defendants’ constitutional arguments, such as “references to Cliven Bundy’s grazing, water, or legacy rights on the public lands” or “references to infringements on First and Second Amendment rights.”

“Defendants’ state of mind regarding their beliefs or why they were present in Bunkerville, NV, on April 12, 2014, is not relevant to the charged offenses,” said Navarro in her order.

She also prohibited “references to punishment the defendants may face if convicted of the offenses.”

In addition, she prohibited discussion that could lead to jury nullification, which occurs when a jury acquits a defendant, even though the government proved guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

“The Court will not permit argument, evidence, or testimony regarding Defendants’ beliefs about the constitution [sic] as such beliefs are irrelevant and a possible jury nullification attempt,” she wrote in the order.

The standoff

This most recent trial was the second related to the April 2014 Bunkerville standoff, which saw hundreds of people travel from other states to provide armed support to Bundy, who was resisting a courtordered gather of his cattle by BLM.

Bundy had been running his cattle on BLM land without a permit since 1993. He stopped paying his grazing fees following a dispute over a mandated stocking rate reduction related to the threatened status of the desert tortoise. Instead, he attempted to pay grazing fees to his county, claiming the federal government lacks the constitutional authority to own the land. BLM has cited multiple threats by Bundy to do “whatever it takes” to protect his grazing rights.

During the week leading up to the April 12, 2014 standoff, the BLM attempted to gather Bundy’s cattle.

Bundy gave speeches about what he believed to be his constitutional rights, and called for supporters—even militia—to come to Bunkerville. Adding to the tension were reports from the Bundys that BLM was abusing their cattle and destroying their property during the roundup.

The standoff culminated in a dry riverbed on April 12, where armed federal agents guarded corrals of Bundy’s gathered cattle. The agency had created a “First Amendment zone” where citizens were allowed to stand. BLM agents announced to the protestors over a megaphone that if they proceeded toward the corrals, BLM would open fire.

During the most recent trial, the federal government explained in court its reasoning for being heavily armed, and for bringing the assault charges against the defendants.

“Evidence of concert of action, e.g., over 40 individuals with their firearms in a readily deployable condition, like Parker, converging on the BLM’s location, is highly probative of conspiracy, assault, and extortion,” the government motion stated.

Government witnesses presented evidence why “a reasonable officer would be in fear or apprehension of imminent death or bodily injury.” One law enforcement agent allegedly testified that he’d had to dig a foxhole and sleep in the ground the night before the standoff, because federal intelligence suggested the hotel where he was staying may be targeted by protesters.

Convoluted cases

All told, 19 armed citizens were arrested in connection with the standoff, some nearly two years after the events. Most of them have been in prison for the past 19 months without bail, while two of them pleaded guilty in August of 2016. Though neither was actually present at the standoff, Blaine Cooper and Gerald DeLemus pleaded guilty of several counts, including conspiring, assault on a federal officer, and displaying force and aggression with a firearm.

The first trial related to the standoff was held in April and involved six men: Lovelien; Stewart; Parker; Drexler; Gregory Burleson of Arizona; and Todd Engel of Idaho. The jury came to an agreement on only two of them, finding Burleson guilty of threatening and assaulting a federal officer, and Engel guilty of obstruction and traveling across state lines in aid of extortion.

Since the jury had been unable to come to agreement on the other four, a second trial—the one that ended on Aug. 22—was scheduled.

In light of the third trial planned for later this month, the trials for the remaining 11 defendants arrested in connection to the Bunkerville standoff remaining in prison will be postponed once again. Those 11, which a federal judge considered to be likely more culpable than the first set of defendants, will be split into two groups for trial.

The first group will be comprised of Cliven Bundy; his sons Ammon and Ryan; Pete Santilli; and Ryan Payne. The last group to face trial will be Bundy sons Dave and Mel; Joseph O’Shaughnessy; Brian Cavalier; Jason Woods; and Micah McGuire. — Theodora Johnson, WLJ correspondent

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Hikers Caught Between Columbia Gorge Wildfires Rescued

FIRES, Forestry & USFS

OBP.org

September 2, 2017

by , Follow , Follow , and

Update: Sunday, Sept. 3, 3:45 p.m.: After spending an evening trapped between two growing wildfires in Oregon’s scenic Columbia River Gorge, 153 hikers safely emerged from the forest Sunday after being rescued.

The hikers were led down the Eagle Creek Trail, near the city of Cascade Locks, where they were reunited with friends and family after spending the evening near Tunnel Falls. The hikers, which included a group of high school students from Salem, a couple on their first date, two families with children and a person hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, were trapped by the Indian Creek Fire and the fast-growing Eagle Creek Fire; the latter was reported at about 4 p.m. Saturday. Among the 153 hikers rescued were two dogs.

The group says they survived the night outside by sharing food and supplies, like a water filter and extra clothing. They also used their water bottles to douse embers that drifted near the trail and threatened to spread the fire.

Rescue crews Sunday led the stranded hikers to nearby Wahtum Lake, where buses waited to shuttle them back to the Eagle Creek Trailhead. Friends and family awaited many of the stranded hikers at the Cascade Salmon Fish Hatchery, which authorities turned into a reunification site Sunday morning as rescue efforts got underway.

Jenalee Ofstie, her 10-year-old son Ansel, and their friend Heather Jeppesen were on a day hike to Punchbowl Falls Saturday when the fire broke out near the Eagle Creek Trail. “We were leaving, and somebody came running back from the trail, saying ‘There’s fire, turn around. It’s coming really fast,’” Jenalee said of the ordeal.

Jenalee, who said the family is on vacation from Honolulu, Hawaii, says a helicopter was supposed to evacuate Ansel and another toddler who was with the stranded group, but ultimately couldn’t land. The group hiked out with the 150 other stranded hikers and rescue crews Sunday.

The Oregon State Police said Sunday evening they believe the fire was caused by the misuse of fireworks and that a suspect has been identified.

The man-made fire grew to 3,000 acres overnight, making it difficult for search and rescue crews to escort hikers to safety Saturday. So officials opted to have the 153 hikers shelter in place for the night. The Hood River County Sheriff’s Office issued a Level 3 mandatory evacuation order for about 130 homes in Cascade Locks south of Interstate 84 early Sunday morning, as the fire drew within a 1/2 mile of the city. Residents north of Interstate 84 received lesser Level 2 and Level 1 notices, depending on their proximity to the fire.

A Red Cross Shelter for evacuees has been set up immediately across the Columbia River in Stevenson, Washington.

The first wave of rescued hikers arrived at buses awaiting them at Wahtum Lake around 9:42 a.m. Sunday, according to the nonprofit volunteer search and rescue operation Mountain Wave. By 1:30 p.m., all the stranded hikers had been led down the trail to safety at Wahtum Lake.

http://www.opb.org/news/article/indian-creek-fire-eagle-creek-portland-columbia-river-gorge/

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Klamath National Forest Salmon-August Fires Complex update 9-3-17

FIRES, Forestry & USFS

Salmon-August Complex Update
September 3, 2017

Date Started: August 11, 2017       Total Size: 48,889 acres
Cumulative Containment: 15%       Total Personnel: 1,624

 

Operational update: The Wallow Fire is the priority fire that crews are focused on within the Salmon August Complex.  The Pointers and Island Fires merged into the Wallow Fire and are no longer considered separate.  Crews continue to build and improve containment line on the north and east perimeter of the fire. Due to the remote location from fire camp, some crews are camped to the north of the fire area and being supplied by mule teams.  There have been and continue to be night crews and engines patrolling and monitoring the fire throughout the night.

The evacuation warning that was issued Friday afternoon for residents along Sawyers Bar Road, from Etna Summit to Nordheimer Flat, remains in effect. Crews are preparing structures and property for protection in this area by clearing burnable vegetation around structures.

Heavy smoke continues to create a challenge for aircraft to support crews with water drops and retardant.  However, six helicopters are still prepared to assist when visibility improves. The reduced visibility also affects the ability for aerial IR (infrared) flights to accurately assess fire spread.

The increased wind yesterday created an increase in fire activity, all of which continue to threaten containment lines.  With the change of wind direction, the Wallow fire area experienced heavier smoke and reduced visibility. Much of the smoke was coming from the Orleans Complex fire that is located to the northwest of this fire complex. The weather is expected to be similar today. Air quality over the fire and in the Scott’s Valley are in the “unhealthy” range. Due to gusty winds, low humidity and a chance of thunderstorms, a red flag warning is issued tonight at 8 p.m. through tomorrow at 9 a.m.

A forest closure order is in effect for the portions of 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/#

An evacuation warning remains in effect from Etna Summit to Nordheimer Flat on the Sawyers Bar Road.

Wallow Fire: 48,471 acres; 10% containment. Fire fighters will continue to construct and improve lines on the north and east of the fire. The south and southwest areas are being closely monitored and areas to construct handline and use dozers is being assessed.

Mary Fire: 142 acres; 70% containment; located five miles south of Cecilville on the divide between the Klamath and Shasta Trinity National Forests. Crews have constructed line in areas that create the most threat. The fire will continue to be monitored.

Rush Fire: 3 acres; 100% containment. The fire will continue to be monitored.

Grizzly Fire: 90 acres; 100% containment.  The fire will continue to be monitored.

Garden Fire: 183 acres; 100% containment.

Residents within Siskiyou County should expect to see an increase of smoke over 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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Klamath National Forest Eclipse Fires Complex update 9-3-17

FIRES, Forestry & USFS

Eclipse Complex Update, September 3, 2017
Klamath and Six Rivers National Forests

Crews Expand Contingency Lines in the Big Flat Area

Acres:  80,503 acres (No IR Flight Last Night)       Containment:  25%
Cedar Fire:  8,713 Acres (includes Four Mile Fire)
Oak Fire:  71,790 acres (includes Young Fire)
Cause:  Lightning                                                     Total personnel:  920

Yesterday, fires of the complex were slowed by a heavy inversion and thick smoke cover that shaded the fires.  The Oak Fire continued to slowly burn north and back into the Smith River’s South Fork where it continues to hold east of the river. Crews made progress on the Oak Fire’s western side, improving containment and contingency lines from Bear Basin Butte along Blue Ridge toward Sugarloaf Mountain. A contingency line is also being improved from Ship Mountain south to Muslatt Mountain.  Completion of these lines will require several days of additional patrol and mop-up by crews to remove any remaining heat near the lines.   Fire lines around Happy Camp continued to cool with a few smokes detected near containment lines.  Key primary containment lines held and were strengthened on the Cedar Fire north of Thompson Creek.  The Cedar Fire has shown little movement in the past 48 hours.

Due to easier access from the Happy Camp Incident Command Post, the portion of the Miller Complex Abney Fire that has burned onto the Klamath National Forest was transferred to California Interagency Incident Management Team 1 under the Eclipse Complex.  A separate update is available for the Abney Fire, Seiad and Horse Creek areas on under the Eclipse Complex.

Today, fire crews are focused on mopping up containment lines around Happy Camp, while extending important contingency lines on the Oak Fire’s east and west flanks to protect Indian Creek and the community of Big Flat.

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 Oak Fire has reached Highway 96 and stopped. One-way traffic control on Highway 96 is expected to end this evening. 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 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 today and slowly back toward the Smith River’s South Fork.

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.

A Fire Weather Watch is in effect from 8 PM Sunday to 9 AM Monday.  Persistent high pressure will continue to promote high temperatures and dry conditions.  Winds are expected to increase out of the northwest and switch to northeast overnight.  Gusty winds should be confined to exposed ridges and mid-slopes.

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. Traffic control on Highway 96 is expected to end this evening:  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 Wildfire:  Firefighters ask that you be extremely careful and prevent new fire starts. Review fire restrictions on the Klamath and Six Rivers National Forest web sites and help firefighters.

###

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Oregon’s Miller Fire is now in CA. threatening Seiad Valley

FIRES, Forestry & USFS

Miller Complex Abney Fire- Seiad Valley Update
 September 3, 2017
Klamath National Forests

Miller Complex Abney Fire in Seiad Valley Area Transfers to Eclipse Complex

Acres:   No Infrared flight occurred last night due to mechanical issues
Cause:  Lightning     Containment:  0%       Total personnel:  91
Crews: 3                   Dozers: 6                      Engines: 2

Yesterday the Abney Fire of the Miller Complex crossed south over the Pacific Crest Trail and onto the Klamath National Forest.  Due to easier access from the Happy Camp Incident Command Post, responsibility for the portion of the Abney Fire on the Klamath National Forest has been transferred to California Interagency Incident Management Team 1.

Firefighters mobilized engines, dozers and crews to Seiad Valley and the Horse Creek area.

Today, fire crews are focused on opening lines constructed in the 2012 Goff Fire and 2016 Gap Fire.  Additional lines have been scouted south of the Klamath National boundary and dozers will be used to tie together existing roads to hold the fire north of ranches and homes within the upper Seiad Valley and Upper Horse Creek.  Crews will also construct lines to the east of Horse Creek to keep the fire from spreading onto commercial timber lands.

A Fire Weather Watch is in effect from 8 p.m. Saturday to 9 a.m. Sunday.  Persistent high pressure will continue to promote high temperatures and dry conditions.  Winds are expected to increase out of the northwest and switch to northeast overnight.  Gusty winds should be confined to exposed ridges and mid-slopes.

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.

A Limited Evacuation Warning was put in effect for the area directly southwest of the Seiad and Horse 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.

 

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