Public Meetings to Discuss the Impacts of Climate Change on Local Road Systems Begin Tonight

Andrew Goff / Monday, Aug. 25 @ 12:15 p.m. / Environment

GHD press release:

The California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) and local transportation agencies are conducting a study to assess the likely impacts of climate change on state transportation facilities in northwestern California. The study includes Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, and Mendocino Counties. The study considers the potential impacts of sea level rise, increased coastal flooding and erosion, increased landslides, and increased wildfire as projected by current climate change modeling. The study is one of sixteen pilot studies across the U.S. being funded, in part, by the Federal Highway Administration.

“The study looks at climate damage that can impact roads, bridges, drainage and maintenance facilities,” said Caltrans District 1 Director Charlie Fielder. “Our entire system works together to connect communities, support goods movement and the economy, and ensure that emergency services can operate during times of crisis. We need to be prepared for the future to minimize interruptions in service.”

“Some sections of road are more likely to be compromised due to climate change impacts,” said Rob Holmlund, a planner with GHD, the consulting team performing the study. “If steps aren’t taken to protect the system, some communities may be at risk of an increase in travel delays, or worse, being cut off from the rest of the road network.” Preliminary results show notable climate change vulnerability along U. S. Highway 101 at Last Chance Grade (south of Crescent City) and along Humboldt Bay north of Eureka, on State Route 1 at the mouth of the Garcia River (near Point Arena), and along portions of State Route 20 near Rodman Slough (northwest of Clear Lake). 

Public meetings in August will provide detailed updates to the residents in Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, and Mendocino Counties. At these meetings, officials will discuss climate change projections, identify highly vulnerable state facilities, and invite discussion to prioritize and protect the road network.

The Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment study is a joint project of the California Department of Transportation District 1 and the Humboldt County Association of Governments, with the collaboration of the Del Norte Local Transportation Commission, Mendocino Association of Governments, and the Lake County/City Area Planning Council. The study is funded by the Federal Highway Administration and Caltrans. More information is available at:

# # #

Meetings will be held at the following locations:

  • Aug. 25 in Eureka at the Wharfinger Building, 1 Marina Way.
  • Aug. 26 in Crescent City at the Elk Valley Rancheria, 2298 Norris Avenue.
  • Aug. 27 in Lakeport at the Lake County Courthouse, Board Chambers, 255 North Forbes Avenue.
  • Aug. 28 in Fort Bragg at the Mendocino County Library, Fort Bragg Branch, Community Room, 499 East Laurel Street. 

All meetings will be from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. For more information, contact Jessica Hall of GHD at (707) 443-8326.


Eureka Man Christopher W. Mulalley Killed in Afghanistan, Death Under Investigation

Ryan Burns / Monday, Aug. 25 @ 10:57 a.m. / Community

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jared Duhon

Army Sgt. Christopher Waugh Mulalley, 26, of Eureka, died last Friday, Aug. 22, in Gardez, Afghanistan, as the result of a non-combat-related incident, the Department of Defense announced yesterday. The incident is under investigation, and a spokesman for the Department of Defense said there are currently no further details available.

Mulalley enlisted directly after graduating from Eureka High in 2006, according to his Facebook profile. He leaves behind a wife and two young sons.

The Fort Hood Press Center issued the following release:

FORT HOOD, Texas — The Department of Defense has released the name of a Fort Hood Soldier who died as a result from a non-combat related incident Aug. 22 in Gardez, Afghanistan.

Sgt. Christopher Waugh Mulalley, 26, whose home of record is listed as Eureka, Calif., entered active-duty service in July 2006 as an infantryman. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, since July 2013.

Mulalley deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from March 2007 to December 2007 and Operation Enduring Freedom from May 2009 to June 2010. His latest deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom began in June.

Mulalley’s awards and decorations include three Army Commendation Medals, four Army Achievement Medals, two Army Good Conduct Medals, National DefenseService Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Medal, NATO Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Expert Infantry Badge and Marksmanship Qualification Badge Expert with Rifle.

Circumstances surrounding this incident are under investigation.

Image via Facebook

Please, Please, Please Just Vaccinate Your Damn Kids

Andrew Goff / Monday, Aug. 25 @ 9:48 a.m. / Health

Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services press release below:

With the new school year starting, the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services is urging parents to make sure their children’s vaccinations are up to date.

“Vaccines are the safest and most effective way to prevent illness,” said Ira Singh, DHHS deputy director of Public Health. “They provide protection from serious diseases that can be spread in the classroom setting.”

New this year, parents who want to exempt their children from one or more required immunizations due to personal beliefs must provide the school with a statement from their health care practitioner.

“Parents of kindergarten and 7th-grade students must provide the new personal belief exemption form to the school signed by the health care provider along with records of any immunizations received,” Singh said.

The California Department of Public Health form states that the parents have been provided with information from their practitioner about the benefits and risks of immunizations “including the health risks to the student and the community resulting from declining the recommended immunizations,” according to the CDPH website.

The following immunizations are required to enter kindergarten and transitional kindergarten:

  • Polio
  • DTaP-Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis
  • MMR-Measles, mumps and rubella
  • Hepatitis B
  • Varicella (Chickenpox)

The Tdap booster (Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) is required for children entering 7th grade.

“Currently, California’s whooping cough (pertussis) epidemic continues to be a threat,” said Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the CDPH. “As families make plans for heading back to school, they should also make sure their children all have their immunizations required for child care or school. That includes an adolescent whooping cough booster (Tdap) for students entering 7th grade.”

“Vaccinating is one of the most important things parents can do to protect their children’s health and the health of the community,” Singh said.

Vaccines are available from clinics and other health care providers. For more information about immunizations, contact the DHHS Public Health Clinic at (707) 268-2108

Rio Dell Resident Dies in Motorcycle Accident

Kym Kemp / Monday, Aug. 25 @ 9:41 a.m. / News

California Highway Patrol press release:

On August 23, 2014, at approximately 6:20 PM, a 2001 Honda motorcycle driven by a 42 year old resident of Rio Dell, CA was traveling west on Mattole Road, west of the Honeydew Cal-Fire Station.  For reasons still under investigation, the motorcycle left the roadway and the driver was ejected.  The driver sustained fatal injuries upon coming in contact with the ground. 

Passing motorists came upon the collision scene and contacted emergency personnel.  Garberville CHP, Honeydew Volunteer Fire Department, and Mattole Cal-Fire responded to the scene. 

The driver of the motorcycle was wearing his helmet at the time of the collision.  It is unknown at this time if alcohol or drugs were a factor in the cause of this collision. 

This collision remains under investigation by the California Highway Patrol, Garberville Area.

[UPDATED 6:55 p.m.] Fire West of Weaverville

Kym Kemp / Sunday, Aug. 24 @ 6:16 p.m. / Fire!

UPDATE 6:58 p.m.: Cal Fire has revised its estimate of acreage burned downwards to 580 acres. According to the Oregon Fire Incident Information report, the fire is now considered 45% contained. One structure was destroyed. There were two injuries.

Below is a rough map from Wildland Fire that shows the approximate area of the fire including where it began on Hwy 299.

UPDATE 5:55 p.m.: The Trinity County Sheriff’s Office just issued the following information:

As of 6:00PM, all evacuations will be lifted. The evacuation center will be closing.

Cal Fire states, “Favorable weather conditions with decreased winds allowed firefighters to make good progress overnight. Ground and air resources will continue to work toward strengthening and increasing containment lines today in addition to mopping up.”

UPDATE 12:14 p.m.: Caltrans issued a statement:

…SR 299 from Weaverville to the Oregon Mountain summit is OPEN! Short closure in westbound #2 lane for emergency equipment at postmile 49.65-49.85.

UPDATE 11:35 a.m.:  Photographer Jed Medin has a series of frightening shots from last night’s windblown blaze. Here’s one below. See more of his photos by clicking here.

Fire engulfs a hill west of Weaverville. [Photo by Jed Medin.]

UPDATE 9:45 a.m.: Trinity County Sheriff’s Department updated information. They issued the following statement:

As of 8:00AM, all areas that were under a mandatory evacuation have been put on an advisory evacuation. 

The evacuation center at the Weaverville First Baptist Church will remain open until further notice.

UPDATE 8:01 a.m.: Red Cross tweeted,

UPDATE 8/25 7:03 a.m.: Cal Fire released information  a few minutes before seven a.m. that the fire is still 650 acres and 25% contained. They write that the following evacuations are still in effect and and evacuated people are welcome at the following place:

Evacuations: Mandatory for Weaver Bally Estates, Easter Ave.,Ridge Road, Weeks Road, Leslie Lane, Airport Road, East Weaver Creek, Red Hill Road, Barbara Road, 5 Cent Gulch Street, Red River Road, Browns Ranch Road and Brooks Road North of Highway 3 and Highway 299

Evacuation Center: Weaverville Elementary School, 31020 Highway 3 Weaverville, CA

Cal Trans says there is one lane piloted traffic through the affected area of 299—three miles west of Weaverville and to the junction with State Route 3..

UPDATE 10:44 p.m.:

UPDATE 9:55 p.m.: The Red Cross tweeted,

UPDATE 9:38 p.m.:  Video of earlier this evening from reader Megan Siebold‎,

UPDATE 9:16 p.m.: A Facebook page has started for Weaverville residents threatened by the fire. You can follow it here.

UPDATE 9:11 p.m.: KRCR News is reporting at least one structure burnt. For more information and photos, click here.

UPDATE 8:41 p.m.: Cal Fire is saying,

The fire is currently burning at a rapid rate of spread. Extremely steep terrain and winds are making containment difficult for firefighters. Numerous ground and air resources are working on the fire with additional units responding.  

UPDATE 8:39 p.m.: Here is an image that shows the fire right after it started about 4:30 p.m..

Just after the fire started around 4:30 p.m. [Photo provided by Rebekah Gobin Harmon]

UPDATE 8:32 p.m.: is listing the fire at 650 acres.

UPDATE 8:27 p.m.: Rachel Dhe posted a photo on our Facebook and the following explanation, “We are sitting at the west end of town, we can see the fire. Cal Trans says we will be escorted through by CHP.”


UPDATE 8:23 p.m.: KRCR Reporter tweeted,

UPDATE 8:14 p.m.: Trinity County Sheriff just sent out this information,

On August 25, 2014 starting at 8:00AM, the Red Cross evacuation center will be moving to the Weaverville First Baptist Church located on Highway 299 across from Mountain View Rd.

UPDATE 8:11 p.m.: Incredible video shot by KRCR News. Click here.

UPDATE 8:04 p.m.: Caltrans in the area is tweeting,

UPDATE 7:44 p.m.: Trinity County Sheriff’s Office just added additional evacuations. They wrote,

Additional MANDATORY evacuations are as follows: Kelso St, Mulligan St, Willow Ave, Manzanita St, Reservoir Rd, Town Reservoir Rd, Tom Bell Rd, Angel Hill Rd, Brashaw Rd, Benoist Ln. 

UPDATE 7:33 p.m.: Cal Fire tweet:

UPDATE 7:26 p.m.: Wildland Fire says scanner reports are indicating, “Per [Incident Commander,] 450 ac burning toward area of Weaverville Airport and Hwy 3 at this time. 30 to 45 min before Airport is expected to be impacted by the fire.” 

UPDATE 7:17 p.m.: Reports from readers indicating that some traffic is getting through. Pilot cars are escorting traffic.

UPDATE 7:08 p.m.: Two photos provided by Jim Irving who is stuck on Oregon Summit. The view is looking east.


UPDATE 7:05 p.m.: Smoke on the Satellite and radar. Image provided by the US National Weather Service.


UPDATE 7:01 p.m.: Caltrans says, State Route 299 is closed from three miles west of Weaverville to the Junction of State Route 3 in Weaverville.

UPDATE 6:43 p.m.: Aircraft fighting the Oregon Fire: 

From a reader.

UPDATE 6:39 p.m.: Trinity County Sheriff press release:

The Trinity County Sheriff’s Office is issuing a mandatory fire evacuations for the following Weaverville areas: 

Leslie Lane, Weaver Bally Rd, Weaver Bally Estates, Fisher Price Lane, Ridge Rd, Easter Avenue, Barbara Avenue, Garden Gulch, Browns Ranch Rd, Squires Lane, East Weaver Creek Rd, Airport Rd, Brooks Lane, Squires Lane. 

The Red Cross evacuation center is located at the Weaverville Elementary School.

UPDATE 6:34 p.m.: Cal Fire tweet:

Homes threatened by the fast growing fire.[Photo provided by a reader.]

UPDATE 6:27 p.m.: Map from here.

UPDATE 6:22 p.m.: Cal Fire is now saying 200 acres! Hwy 299 now closed.


Original post:

A fast growing blaze has blown up two miles west of Weaverville. The first report came at 4:25 today. Cal Fire says the burn (known as the Oregon Fire) is already 40 acres. CHP dispatch reports that a boat may have come off its trailer sending up a spark that started the incident. The dispatch also says that evacuation notice is going out to some residents in the area.

According to CHP, eastbound 299 is being closed at the Oregon Summit.

Smoke seen from the main street of Weaverville. [Photo provided by a reader.]


Willow Creek Air Quality at Unhealthy Levels

Kym Kemp / Sunday, Aug. 24 @ 4:32 p.m. / News

As smoke pours into many areas of Humboldt from the Happy and the July Complex, air quality is suffering. Willow Creek has just moved into the Unhealthy category. People in that community are being advised to stay indoors.

North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District press release:

Smoke levels in the [Willow Creek area has] been classified as Unhealthy and are creating a health hazard. Smoke is being generated by the fires of the Happy and July Complexes. Current weather forecasts a short lived shift in northwesterly winds by this evening. Northeasterly winds are anticipated to return tomorrow.

Smoke Levels continue to be monitored. Please watch for updates. People are recommended to restrict outdoor activity.Symptoms that may be related to excess smoke exposure include: 

• Repeated coughing 

• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

• Wheezing 

• Chest tightness or pain

• Palpitations 

• Nausea or unusual fatigue

• Lightheadedness

If you have any of the symptoms listed above, contact your health care provider. Please see the NCUAQMD’s General Public Service Announcement for recommendations on limiting smoke exposure.

For 24-hour Air Quality Advisory Information, call the NCUAQMD’s hotline toll-free at 1-866-BURN-DAY (1-866-287-6329), or visit the website at

Homesteading Humboldt: A Gift From the Sea

Kym Kemp / Sunday, Aug. 24 @ 3:44 p.m. / Food

Want to learn how to make stuff? build stuff? grow stuff? The Lost Coast Outpost will occasionally be bringing you guest posts from experts in their fields that will give you a bit of information on living sustainably and cultivating old-fashioned skills in a modern way.

Today’s post in our Homesteading Humboldt series is written by Dottie Simmons. She and her husband, Dennis, are the creators of one of our local businesses, Simmon’s Natural Body CareTheir Facebook page is here. Simmons is a Humboldt County Master Food Preserver (MFP) and a trained volunteer through the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE.) 


From Sea to Pantry

Part of keeping a well-stocked pantry is having some protein packed away. Dry beans and peas fill some of that need, frozen meats another, but there is nothing like having some canned Albacore tuna!

Now is the time of year fresh/frozen Albacore tuna is available direct from the fishing boats moored at Woodley Island. Canning your own tuna is a job worth the effort. Home canned Albacore is delicious and you can have variety you can’t find any other way.

First and foremost, Tuna MUST be canned in a pressure canner (NOT pressure cooker) with a gauge. Low acid foods such as meat, fish, green beans and other vegetables, can harbor botulism bacteria, which are killed by the high heat (240°) generated by steam under pressure. Luckily, this is easy and safe to do in your kitchen.

Tuna tips:

You can buy tuna whole or loined (filleted). It costs a bit more to get it loined. The price you pay is for the whole fish BEFORE it is loined, but we have always found home canning tuna to be cost effective. We bought $60 worth of loins last week and got 16-8 ounce jars coming out to $3.75 each – not including the tuna we grilled for dinner!

Pros for buying the tuna filleted: It’s not easy to loin a tuna if you are not accustomed to doing it, and can add a considerable amount of time to the process. You have none of the bones, tail, etc. to deal with.

Cons: If you want the extra parts: head; tail; bones; dark red meat, as cat food or fertilizer or?, you lose them when you buy it pre-loined.

To slice or loin it yourself, it is easiest when the fish is still partially frozen.

Put ¼ cup white vinegar in the water of the canner to help with clean up and cut the smell. This makes it SO much easier.

I mark a sheet of paper with the desired length for each type of jar and place it under a clear cutting mat. This makes it easy to get the right length every time.

Cutting mat to help slice the right portion.


Can tuna raw or cooked in ½ pints or pint jars.

Raw pack: cut the loins crosswise into jar size pieces and pack into clean, hot jars leaving a 1” head space.

Hot pack: bake or grill whole tuna until done (165° to 175° internally). Chill, then remove skin, bones, dark flesh, etc. cut into quarters (loins) and then into jar length pieces. Personally, I prefer raw pack, but we have friends that say grilling it first gives it great flavor.

Now you can get creative, adding anything from boiling water to Cajun seasoning to add variety. We like tamari soy sauce, lemon infused olive oil, or diced jalapeno pepper, but the possibilities are endless. We like the lemon tuna in with salads, the tamari with vegetables. For liquids, add 1 tablespoon per ½ pint, 2 tablespoons to pint jars. Put no more than ½ teaspoon salt per ½ pint, 1 teaspoon per pint.

Remember to leave a 1 inch headspace, remove any air bubbles and wipe the jar rim before adding the 2-piece lid.

½ pints or pints are both processed 1 hour and 40 minutes (100 minutes) at 10 pounds pressure (11 pounds if you are over 1000 ft elevation, 12 lb. over 2000’ or 13 lb. from 4000’ to 6000’).

And whatever you do, save some to eat fresh. Albacore is a gift from the sea!

Questions about food preservation? Interested in a demo?

Questions about the Master Food Preserver Program?

Contact the Humboldt County Cooperative Extension Office at:

5630 S. Broadway, Eureka, CA 95503, Phone: 707) 444-9334, or online at:

Previous Homesteading Humboldt posts: