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Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Tuesday, September 5th, 2017.

Liz Writes Life 9-5-17

Liz Writes Life

Sept. 5, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA.

Sometimes, smoke is so thick, it seems like you could cut it with a knife! Ugh! This is bad. Reminds me of the long-siege of inversion-layer during the massive 1987 fires that were started by over 1,400 dry lightning strikes on Aug. 30th  here in the Klamath National Forest.

On Monday morning, (yesterday) Ray Haupt, our county supervisor, reported the newest updates after being briefed at the Etna Incident Command Center. Yes, Sawyers Bar Road is now closed from Etna Summit down past Forks of Salmon along with an Evacuation Order. I believe the Etna High School will be a shelter-in-place for displaced folks. On Sunday night, there were 16 engines on the Salmon River protecting homes – up the hill from Sawyers Bar town.

Unfortunately, the fire is headed south and down into Mill Creek several miles above Etna. Structure assessment on the Etna side of Salmon Mt. is being done. Mill Creek is the first bridge after the snow gate on Sawyers Bar Rd. at the bottom of the mountain.

Ray had some good news: The north end of the Wallow Fire is being slowed as fire fighters are making good progress building fire line from Crystal Creek through to Kidder Creek protecting homes in the Patterson Ck., Kellems and Kidder Creek areas. Yay!

Ray urges folks to pay attention to fire and police officers and evacuation orders. Be sure to move vehicles and other items out of the way, so fire engines and crews can get access to your property to protect your structures and go on through to protect areas around you. He said CalFire has a good tutorial, on the internet, on how to prepare for evacuation. It is called: Ready For Wildfire.org. Because he lives in the path of the Wallow Fire, Ray spent his weekend organizing and preparing his property, including moving his camper and boat to a friend’s place.

“Get prepared,” he said.

Today, Tuesday, the USFS is sending an I.C. leadership to update the entire Siskiyou Co. Board of Supervisors at their regular meeting. Remember that three years ago our county supervisors put a Catastrophic Wildland Fire and Fuels Declaration in place and has been actively advocating for fuels reduction.

Logging would do much less damage to the environment and wildlife than these horrific fires. Government agencies and bureaucrats need to stand against the lawsuits of the Enviros as the forests must be managed and thinned for environmental health as well as health and safety for us humans!

A bit more fire info: The Helena Fire, out of Weaverville, has Highway 299 closed. It’s burned 140 structures with 80 of them homes. So very sad! Ray added that due to so many fires throughout the West, and the huge rescue for Hurricane Harvey victims in the Texas Gulf Coast, every Incident Command Team in the nation is engaged. Wow. Too much water and too much fire!

I realize our terrain couldn’t stand more than an inch or two, but it sure would be nice if the continuing rain from Hurricane Harvey in the Texas Gulf Coast could be shared all over the West as fires are raging from L.A. through Montana. Yea, I know – if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

Gardening

I was driving by Tyler Farrington’s place two weeks ago and slowed down to look at his garden. He saw me and invited me to see it. Tyler is using raised beds with plastic tubes curved over them. He had clear plastic sheeting covering them this spring, which gave him a good jump on the season. He showed me the most gorgeous purple tomato! And then purple peppers. His wife likes the color purple, so he is hoping to be able to make a purple salsa!

Tyler gave me beets, carrots and several kinds of peppers. One was long, skinny and red, but wasn’t hot at all. It is called a Jimmy Nardello and would be good for mild salsa, which is what I prefer. He had giant purple egg plant, gorgeous Swiss chard, watermelon, cucumbers other things I am forgetting; and onions hanging on posts drying. Nice garden.

So, I finally got the bug to make salsa this week. First batch was mild and so good, but the second was a bit hot. Jack liked it. I think I put in too many minced garlic cloves! Jack may have picked our last batch of green beans on Sunday, when he also dug red potatoes so I could make a potato salad for a family get-together.

POW

Brandon Criss, Dist. 1 Siskiyou Co. Supervisor, spoke at the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting last Thursday. He had just learned and then shared with us that the FBI had arrested two people for trying to bribe our Siskiyou Co. Sheriff. Chi Meng Yang, of Montague, and his sister, Gaosheng Laitinen, of Mt. Shasta Vista, were charged for conspiring to commit bribery of a public official, conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and manufacturing marijuana.

The complaint said that back in May, Yang met with Sheriff Jon Lopey and offered $1 million to the sheriff in exchange for his assistance with an interstate marijuana distribution business that Yang was organizing. Sheriff Lopey contacted FBI and DEA and subsequent meetings with Yang were audio and video recorded by the FBI.

I know that Sheriff Lopey is dead against the illegal marijuana and drug businesses. Sheriff Lopey, thank you for your integrity! Sure do hope the charges stick!

And remember, when the media claims that Siskiyou Co. is “racist” – let people know that Siskiyou elected the first black sheriff in the State of California. It was Charlie Byrd, in 1986, and he was re-elected three more times. Just gripes me no end, when we are accused of being racist.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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KNF: Salmon-August Fire Complex update 9-5-17

FIRES, Forestry & USFS

Date Started: August 13, 2017*                    Total Size: 58,487 acres                                  Cumulative Containment: 14%                    Total Personnel: 1,518

Operational update: Yesterday the inversion lifted enough to create slightly better visibility above the fire area. A fixed wing aerial reconnaissance flight was utilized to better determine the fire perimeter and recent spread. The Wallow fire is still very active. Large smoke columns were produced yesterday afternoon in portions of the fire. Specifically, in the areas west of Whiskey Butte, south of Yellow Dog Peak, upper Crapo Creek, and west of Bear Wallow Peak. Long range spotting and roll-out of burning material created fire spread in the steep terrain, while dry downed fuels carried fire spread throughout other areas within the fire. Crews continue preparing structures and property for protection in this area by clearing burnable vegetation and placing sprinkler systems around structures. Due to consistent fire activity at night, crews and engines are still in place to patrol, mitigate and monitor the fire overnight. Smoke is still inhibiting 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.

Hot and dry conditions will persist throughout the day, with a chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening. The weather forecast is calling for gusty winds Wednesday evening. Some of the current resources on this incident will be assigned to support initial attack for new, local fire starts.

The current Evacuation Order for the Sawyers Bar and Main Stem Road will be reduced to an Evacuation Warning at 12:00 p.m. today. This area includes Nordheimer Flat to Etna Summit on the Sawyers Bar Road. As many crews and equipment are still working in this area, please be cautious of personnel working along the road and keep vehicle speed to a minimum.

There will be a community meeting held in Sawyers Bar at the Salmon River Restoration Council today at 2:00 p.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 order is in effect from Etna Summit to Nordheimer Flat on the Sawyers Bar and North Stem Road, until 12:00 p.m. today.

* The August 11th date was the start date of the Wallow Fire. The August 13th date reflects when the fires were designated as the Salmon August complex.

Wallow Fire: 58,037 acres; 14% 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. The Island and Pointers Fires have been consumed by the Wallow Fire and are no longer being reported separately.

Mary Fire: 91 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: 266 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 smoke forecasts, please visit this link: http://bit.ly/2uSYloh

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

For evacuation information, please visit CODE RED: http://www.co.siskiyou.ca.us/content/codered-emergency-alert-system

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Oregon, now California fire: Miller Complex Abney Fire- Seiad Valley Update

FIRES, Forestry & USFS

 September 5, 2017
Klamath National Forest

Crews Halt Abney Fire North of the 46N50 Road and Expand Containment Lines

Abney Fire Total Acres:   12,564 (No IR flight available due to mechanical problems with the planes)
Cause:  Lightning            Containment:  0%            Total personnel:  171
Crews: 5                          Dozers: 6                          Engines: 10

The Incident Management Team assigned to the Eclipse Complex is also managing the portion of the Abney Fire (Miller Complex) that has moved south onto the Klamath National Forest.

Crews completed preparation of the 46N50 Road as primary containment line and held that line last night as the fire backed slowly toward the line.  Crews have also completed a key dozer line across Seiad Valley between the Goff and Gap Fire burn footprint near the 47N17 Road.  This line is a contingency line to keep the fire from progressing south into the populated south Seiad Valley.  Crews also worked to reopen dozer and handline along the Goff Fire burn area behind homes on the north side of Seiad Valley Road.  Structure engines worked to prepare to defend homes across the Seiad Valley and in Horse Creek.

Today, fire crews are focused on holding and patrolling the 46N50 road to ensure the fire remains to its north.  Crews will also work to remove brush along the Seiad Valley Road on the edge of the Goff Fire and open dozer lines on the north boundary of the Gap Fire burn footprint.  Structure protection engines will continue to work to prepare to defend structures and homes in Seiad Valley and Horse Creek.  Residences should use caution driving on roads in the area due to increased firefighter traffic.

The weather forecast calls for more humid air and some cloud cover that will keep temperatures on the fire cooler with temperatures ranging from 75 to 80 degrees.  Winds will be calm in the valleys with ridge top winds from the west at 5-8 mph, gusting to 12 mph in the afternoon.

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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Eclipse Complex Update, September 5, 2017

FIRES, Forestry & USFS

Eclipse Complex Update, September 5, 2017
Klamath and Six Rivers National Forests

Crews Fight to Hold Oak Fire on Blue Ridge as Winds Push Fire
Over the South Fork

Acres:  86,910 acres (No IR Flight for two days)           Cedar Fire:  8,713 Acres
Containment:  25%                                                        Oak Fire:  78,197 acres
Cause:  Lightning                                                            Total personnel:  858

In Del Norte County, strong northeast winds pushed a spot fire over the Smith River’s South Fork where it ran up to the ridge top of Blue Ridge south of Hurdygurdy Butte.  Crews were able to hold the fire east of Blue Ridge as the fire made several runs toward the ridge line.  A spot fire that made it over the ridge was caught by crews last night.  Additional line construction was completed in the vicinity of Big Flat.  Fire lines around Happy Camp have held and there has been no additional growth in the last 48 hours.  Fire movement on the Cedar Fire has been limited to slow northward spread in the Red Butte Wilderness.

Today, crews will work to hold the Oak Fire east of Blue Ridge above the South Fork of the Smith River.

Oak Fire:  On the Oak Fire’s southeast flank, crews will patrol, hold and mop-up containment lines near Benjamin Creek. The Oak Fire has reached Highway 96 and stopped. One-way traffic control on Highway 96 has ended. 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 to protect the Big Flat area should the fire cross Blue Ridge. Southwest winds today should be favorable for crews working to hold Blue Ridge as the winds will be pushing the fire back toward the 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 northward 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.

The weather forecast calls for more humid air and some cloud cover that will keep temperatures on the fire cooler with temperatures ranging from 75 to 80 degrees.  Winds will be calm in the valleys with ridge top winds from the west at 5-8 mph, gusting to 12 mph in the afternoon.

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.

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. While there are no current evacuations in Del Norte County, residents are encouraged to utilize the Del Norte Community Alert System powered by Everbridge to remain informed about issues that may affect local safety. Go to prepareddelnorte.com to sign up.

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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Siskiyou Sheriff’s Office Recovers Body of Missing Teenager from Siskiyou Lake

Sheriff Jon Lopey, Siskiyou Sheriff's report

September 4, 2017

         On Saturday, September 2, 2017, at about 1:51 a.m., Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) deputies responded to the commercial beach area of Siskiyou Lake in response to a call received that a juvenile male was missing after being last seen swimming at the location two hours earlier.  The report was received from a caller wanting to remain anonymous and the reporting party claimed the missing juvenile was last seen swimming near the beach but could not be located after last being seen and the reporting party eventually went home and contacted SCSO afterwards.

        A SCSO search of the immediate area failed to locate the missing juvenile.  SCSO deputies contacted the father of the missing teenager and other associates during the morning hours but those efforts failed to locate the missing juvenile.  The SCSO Dive Team responded to the beach area of Siskiyou Lake near the designated swimming area and conducted a search for the missing teenager.  On September 2, 2017, at about 1:47 p.m., the body believed to be that of the missing teenager was located submerged and deceased in about 50 feet of water.

        According to Sheriff Jon Lopey, “This death investigation is still underway and we hope to determine more details about the incident and events preceding the teenager’s disappearance within the next few days.  There is no evidence of foul play but a cause and manner of death will not be determined until an autopsy is conducted this week.  On behalf of the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, I would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to the victim, his family, friends, and associates in the aftermath of this tragedy.  Anyone with any information about the victim’s activities prior to the missing person’s report is urged to contact the SCSO’s 24-hour Dispatch Center at (530) 841-2900.  The preliminary investigation revealed there may have been other unidentified teenage associates of the victim at the location prior to his disappearance and their account of the related events could be helpful. ”

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