Wednesday, 29 November 2023


On Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that, within hours of California’s request, the White House approved a Presidential Emergency Declaration for direct federal assistance to bolster the response to the Caldor fire in El Dorado, Amador, Alpine and Placer counties.

“We thank President Biden and Vice President Harris for their steadfast support to California as we battle these challenging fires,” said Gov. Newsom. “Our continued partnership with the federal government is critical to protecting communities and ensuring impacted Californians have the supports they need to get back on their feet.”

The Presidential Emergency Declaration for the Caldor fire will supplement state, local and tribal government emergency services for the protection of lives, property, public health and safety.

As the Caldor fire burns, Gov. Newsom has directed state agencies to rapidly and thoroughly document the extent of the damage to ensure the state is able to pursue further federal support for individuals and communities impacted by the fire, which to date has burned more than 207,000 acres and ranks as the 15th largest fire in state history.

Gov. Newsom on Monday proclaimed a state of emergency in Alpine, Amador and Placer counties due to the Caldor fire, following the emergency proclamation issued for El Dorado County earlier this month.

The state has secured a Fire Management Assistance Grant, or FMAG, from FEMA to help ensure the availability of vital resources to suppress this rapidly spreading fire.

The White House last week approved California’s request for a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration, including supports available to wildfire-impacted residents and assistance for state, tribal and local governments with ongoing emergency response and recovery costs.

California recently secured FMAGs to support the state’s response to the Dixie fire in Lassen, Butte and Plumas counties and the response to the French, Caldor, Monument, River and Lava fires.

BODEGA BAY, Calif.— California State Park Peace Officers have uncovered an illegal cannabis grow site within Sonoma Coast State Park.

On Tuesday, Aug. 17, State Park Peace Officers assigned to the department’s Special Enforcement Team discovered at the state park, in Upper Willow Creek, that water was being diverted by the illegal growers from a creek and channeled into several large pits lined with tarps.

It is believed the creek water from these human-made wells was used to water cannabis plants within the grow site.

A total of 1,500 plants were documented at the site. Approximately 1,000 pounds of trash was also documented, including fertilizer, rodenticides, a generator, gasoline and plastic irrigation lines.

Cleanup of the site is being scheduled by State Parks. Additionally, more than a dozen trees were also cut down by the growers to create a clearing for the cannabis plants.

Two suspects were arrested and booked into the Sonoma County Jail, charged with illegal cannabis cultivation, water diversion and possessing a loaded firearm.

State Parks’ Cannabis Watershed Protection Program is responsible for preventing and alleviating environmental damage from cannabis cultivation and supporting stewardship and operation in a manner that discourages and prevents cannabis cultivation on State Park lands.

The program has identified more than 400 sites that have been impacted by cannabis grows in state parks across California.

Sonoma Coast State Park consists of several beaches separated by rock bluffs and headlands.

The park spans 17 miles from Bodega Head to Vista Trail which is located approximately 4 miles north of Jenner.

The property lies along State Route 1 and consists of several named beaches including Arched Rock Beach, Gleason Beach and Goat Rock Beach. It also offers camping and hiking along the Russian River and Willow Creek.

For more than 150 years, California State Park Peace Officers have worked closely with the state's network of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to provide law enforcement within the State Park System and surrounding communities.

These officers also have the important responsibility to protect the natural, cultural and historic resources found in state park units for current and future generations.

The Willow Creek grow site at Sonoma Coast State Park in Bodega Bay, California. Shown at top: 1,500 cannabis plants located inside Sonoma Coast State Park. Middle: One of several large pits dug by growers to water cannabis plants. Bottom: Some of the 1,000 lbs. of trash found at the site including gasoline and fertilizer. Photos from California State Parks.

At the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency as Hurricane Ida makes landfall in Louisiana, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday approved the deployment of urban search and rescue specialized personnel to the region to assist in life-saving disaster response.

California maintains robust search and rescue resources within the state and the deployment does not draw from resources in use to combat wildfires.

“As we manage the ongoing emergency response to wildfires and support impacted communities, California is carefully assessing and balancing resources to answer the call to aid our fellow Americans in a time of great need, as we have so often received support ourselves in recent years,” said Gov. Newsom.

Part of the National Urban Search and Rescue Response System, administered in California by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, or Cal OES, the Oakland-based California/FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Task Force-4 will join with Urban Search and Rescue, or US&R, incident support specialists to assist with search and rescue operations for Hurricane Ida, which is currently a strong Category 4 hurricane.

The California/FEMA US&R Task Force being deployed to Baton Rouge, Louisiana is based in the Oakland Fire Department, with participation from several surrounding fire agencies.

The “Type 3” task force being deployed includes 35 members and 10 ground support personnel. These personnel are trained and equipped to provide water rescues and technical and canine search, rescue, medical and other specialized capabilities at the disaster.

In total, FEMA has requested and deployed 15 Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces from other states to the Gulf Coast through the National Urban Search and Rescue Response System.

Gov. Newsom and Cal OES have also approved deployment of several California-based US&R Incident Support Team members to help coordinate search and rescue operations across the Gulf Coast hurricane impact zone.

The Urban Search and Rescue-trained firefighters deployed from California to the Incident Support Team are members of various California/FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces, including California US&R Task Force 1, Los Angeles Fire Department; California US&R Task Force 3, Menlo Park Fire Protection District; and California US&R Task Force 7, Sacramento Fire Department.

Sunday’s deployment comes 16 years after the rescue capabilities of all eight California/FEMA US&R Task Forces were deployed to conduct search and rescue operations across the flooded city of New Orleans, Louisiana, when Hurricane Katrina struck, with simultaneous deployment of California-based US&R Team members to the adjoining and hard-hit state of Mississippi.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has closed 34 properties that lie within or immediately adjacent to U.S. Forest Service boundaries due to extreme fire conditions.

Effective immediately, these properties are closed to the public through Friday, Sept. 17.

All closures are CDFW wildlife areas or ecological reserves, and they cover many parts of the state.

They were closed following the USFS announcement of the temporary closure of all national forests in California.

Fire danger is extreme in California currently. Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts are strongly encouraged to check for closures before leaving on any recreational trip. The following links show up-to-date closures:

CDFW acknowledges that hunting opportunities will be impacted and is working with the Fish and Game Commission to consider regulations that would allow for return of certain tags and preference points similar to 2020.

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday proclaimed a state of emergency for Alpine, Amador and Placer counties due to the Caldor fire, which has forced the evacuation of thousands of residents, including significant portions of South Lake Tahoe.

The governor earlier this month proclaimed a state of emergency for El Dorado County due to the fire.

“It is imperative that residents in the impacted areas stay safe and prepare to evacuate immediately if called for by local authorities. We thank all the heroic firefighters and first responders working around the clock to combat this rapidly spreading fire and to protect local communities across California this fire season,” said Gov. Newsom.

The governor on Monday also signed an executive order to support the state's wildfire response and recovery efforts.

At the request of several counties currently under a state of emergency due to wildfires, the order allows out-of-county emergency workers who are unable to cast ballots in their home precincts to be provided with provisional ballots, upon request, for the upcoming state election.

Among other provisions, the order also allows the waiver of regulations so that hospitals and other health facilities impacted by the fires can continue to provide care and services, and allows U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Federal Emergency Management Agency personnel to assist in removing hazardous debris from private properties damaged by fire, protecting public health and the environment.

Gov. Newsom last week announced that the White House approved California’s request for a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration, including supports available to wildfire-impacted residents and assistance for state, tribal and local governments with ongoing emergency response and recovery costs.

California also recently secured assistance to support the state’s response to the Dixie fire in Lassen, Butte and Plumas counties and the response to the French fire, Caldor fire, Monument fire, River fire and Lava fire.

Governor Newsom has activated the State Operations Center to its highest level and proclaimed a state of emergency in counties impacted by the Caldor fire, McFarland and Monument fires, Antelope and River fires, Dixie, Fly and Tamarack fires and the Lava fire and Beckwourth Complex fire.

The governor signed an executive order to support impacted communities and bolster wildfire response and recovery efforts. Cal Fire and Cal OES personnel are responding in concert with other federal, state and local agencies to address emergency management and mutual aid needs for the fires.

Last week, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife received trail camera video from May 15 showing a collared gray wolf in southwest Kern County.

Though CDFW cannot confirm this at this time, it is possible the wolf could be OR-93 because of video evidence of the collar and the last known whereabouts of OR-93, which was in San Luis Obispo County on April 5.

Even though the video evidence is more than three months old, CDFW said it will immediately investigate the area for additional information in hopes of finding wolf DNA for analysis. CDFW will also conduct flyovers to attempt to connect to the collar through radio telemetry.

The trail camera has been recording wildlife use at a water trough on private property for three years. The camera was reset by the caretaker of the property in April but the images were not downloaded and provided to CDFW until early this week.

CDFW strongly encourages the public to be aware that the wolf population continues to grow in California and to know the difference between wolves and coyotes. Though gray wolves are generally much bigger than coyotes, they can sometimes be misidentified.

The agency encourages the public to review tips for differentiating between wolves, coyotes and dogs.

Though the video was black and white, wolf OR-93 also has a purple collar around his neck which should make the animal more identifiable.

Gray wolves are listed as endangered pursuant to California’s Endangered Species Act. It is unlawful to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap or capture gray wolves. Anyone who believes they have seen a wolf in California can report it to CDFW.

Gray wolves pose very little safety risk to humans. CDFW is working to monitor and conserve California’s small wolf population and is collaborating with livestock producers and diverse stakeholders to minimize wolf-livestock conflicts.

Gray wolf management in California is guided by CESA as well as CDFW’s Conservation Plan for Gray Wolves in California, finalized in 2016. More information is available on CDFW’s wolf web page.

Wolf OR-93, a male wolf born in 2019 who made headlines earlier this year, initially entered Modoc County on Jan. 30. After briefly returning to Oregon, he reentered Modoc County on Feb. 4.

On Feb. 24, he entered Alpine County after passing through portions of Lassen, Plumas, Sierra, Nevada, Placer, El Dorado, Amador and Calaveras counties.

On Feb. 25, he entered Mono County. In mid-March, he was in western Tuolumne County. By late March he was in Fresno County, and then entered San Benito County after crossing Highway 99 and Interstate 5.

He was in Monterey County on April 1 and his last collar transmission was from San Luis Obispo County on April 5.

Through April 5 he had traveled at least 935 air miles in California, a minimum average of 16 air miles per day.

OR-93 dispersed from the White River pack in northern Oregon.

Upcoming Calendar

12.02.2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
12.02.2023 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Festival of Trees
12.03.2023 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Lower Lake Hometown HoliDaze Street Fair
12.09.2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
12.09.2023 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Christmas in Middletown
12.16.2023 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Kelseyville Wreaths Across America ceremony
12.16.2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
Christmas Eve

Mini Calendar



Award winning journalism on the shores of Clear Lake. 



Enter your email here to make sure you get the daily headlines.

You'll receive one daily headline email and breaking news alerts.
No spam.