(UPDATE) (ANIMAP/VIDEO/PHOTOS) Clayton Fire in Lake County Now Over 4,000 Acres; 200 Structures Destroyed

Andrew Goff / Monday, Aug. 15 @ 3:48 p.m. / Fire

 Above: Animated map documents the growth of the Clayton Fire since it started Saturday evening.

UPDATE, 8/16: This morning Calfire provided an update on progress made over the night on the Clayton Fire. According to statistics provided on the agency’s website at 8:15 a.m. this morning the fire is now 20 percent contained. 

“Firefighters made considerable progress over night constructing control lines and mopping up hot spots,” Calfire officials said. “Expected changes in wind speed and direction continue to challenge control efforts.” 

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UPDATE, 9 p.m.: Law enforcement has arrested 40-year-old Damin Pashilk, a construction worker and Clearlake resident, of purposefully setting the Clayton Fire and “numerous” others. Pashilk faces 17 counts of arson and is currently being held in county jail, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. His bail has been set at $5.1 million.

The LA Times has more

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The fast-moving Clayton Fire has now destroyed nearly 200 structures in and around the Lake County town of Lower Lake (pop. 1,294). Thousands have been forced to evacuate the area as firefighters struggle to slow the wind-aided wildfire as it feeds on dry, heavy brush. Lake County news outlets report that the fire has reached Main Street, Lower Lake, burning the post office, a winery, a local Habitat for Humanity office as well as other downtown businesses.

According to the latest available information released by Calfire Monday afternoon, the blaze burned aggressively through the night, is now around 4,000 acres and is only 5 percent contained. 1,500 more structures are listed threatened. Additional resources are en route to area where there are already more than 1,600 fire personnel. 

Above: Lake Street in downtown Lower Lake

“The fire behavior remains intense,” a release on Calfire’s website states.

Lake County News has a post providing information for people hoping to make monetary donations to aid those affected by the fire.

Above: Photographer Matthew Henderson has been adding numerous Clayton Fire photos to his Facebook page.


Briceland Man Busted With Loads of Meth, Heroin and a Butane Hash Lab, Drug Task Force Announces

Hank Sims / Monday, Aug. 15 @ 2:02 p.m. / Crime

From the Humboldt County Drug Task Force:

On Friday August 12, 2106 the Humboldt County Drug Task Force served a Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant on Greta Lane in the town of Briceland.

During the service of the search warrant Agents located 142 grams of heroin, 212 grams of methamphetamine, and 368 grams of butane honey oil (B.H.O.). In addition items associated with the sales of narcotics were located along with a fully functioning butane honey oil lab. $4,145.00 in U.S. Currency was seized as proceeds from the sales of narcotics.

58-year-old Karl Alan Hohstadt was located at the residence during the service of the search warrant and was arrested for possession of a controlled substance for sale and operating a chemical extraction lab.
Anyone with information related to this investigation or other narcotics related crimes are encouraged to call the Humboldt County Drug Task Force at 707-444-8095 or the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at 707-268-2539.

Four Armed Men Invade McKinleyville Home, Hold Resident at Gunpoint

Andrew Goff / Monday, Aug. 15 @ 9:34 a.m. / Crime , @McKinleyville

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release:

On 08-12- 2016 at 6:50 a.m. Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded to a residence located in the 2700 block of Bolier Avenue, McKinleyville, regarding an armed robbery that had just occurred. Deputies contact the 37 year old male victim, who relayed the following information to the deputies:

The victim said he and his wife were sleeping in their bedroom when they heard a loud noise. The victim said he got out of bed to investigate the cause of the noise. The victim said when he walked into his living room he was confronted by (4) male suspects holding weapons. The victim stated they were all wearing dark clothing and had black and red bandannas covering their faces. The victim believed all the suspects were white, male adults.

The victim said one of the suspects ordered him to lay down on the floor at gunpoint. The suspects then took the victim’s credit cards and cellular telephone. The victim said the suspects were also demanding he give them drugs, but he told them he did not have any drugs. The suspects then fled the residence with the victim’s property. Deputies checked the area for the suspects, but were unable to locate them.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445- 7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268- 2539.

HARDIN: ‘Grow Big or Go Homeless’

John Hardin / Monday, Aug. 15 @ 8:23 a.m. / Op-Ed

The other day, I saw a guy wearing a T-shirt from one of our local grow shops. Nothing unusual about that. On any given day, half the guys you see in Garberville will be wearing an advertisement for one of our local grow shops. I didn’t see which shop sponsored the shirt, because I didn’t see the front of the shirt, but the message I saw on the back left me dumbfounded. “Grow Big or Go Homeless” the black shirt loudly proclaimed in bold white letters.

Whoever came up with that slogan knows how to sell grow supplies. “Grow Big or Go Homeless” taps into growers’ fear. Everyone fears running out of money, especially growers. Growers tend to have pretty thin resumes, and the longer they grow, the less employable they become, so this slogan taps into the sense of desperation driving the current expansion in the marijuana industry.

People don’t think well when they’re frightened. Some people don’t think well at anytime. A lot of growers use money to insulate themselves from their own idiocy. They don’t like to think too much, but they know that having a lot of money makes life easier. The more money they make, the more silly ways they find to spend it, and soon, their lives become a death-spiral of greed and consumption that destroys natural habitat here in Humboldt County, wastes resources around the world, and contributes to global warming, while they poison themselves with their own stupidity. Just having to think frightens them, and thinking about money and the future frightens them even more.

A few growers have been paying attention, and preparing for the inevitable, others are getting out while the getting is good. As the marijuana industry becomes more professional and competitive, most Humboldt growers feel trapped. They know that they’ll never make it in the legal market, and they only have a few years left of the black market. So, like any compulsive gambler, they bet it all on this year’s crop, and made it a big one. If they can do it again next year, they’ll find a way to grow even more.

People bought a shitload of soil and garden supplies this year, at least twice as much as last year, and then trucked all of that stuff back to a rash of seeping scars on our hillsides, where they worked like dogs in the hot sun, breathing dust and exhaust fumes all day, just so that they can double down on last year. Why? You can only grow so much weed, and the more weed you grow, the harder you work, and the less you make per pound. You don’t have to worry about getting caught. You’ve been caught. They’re draining the pond around you, so becoming a bigger fish won’t help. We need to evolve if we want to survive in this changing environment, and turning our backs on the world and burying ourselves in weed won’t help us one bit.

Pretty soon, everyone will have plenty of weed, and growing it will be just another shitty low-paying job. Like the rest of our shitty low-paying jobs, nobody around here will work them unless they can find an affordable place to live. In turn, even the marijuana industry will be forced to move elsewhere because they won’t be able to assemble the reliable workforce they need, here. We’re not preparing for the future, we’re digging a pit, and the deeper we dig, the longer it will take us to climb out of it.

Business owners already complain about how hard it is to find reliable help, and they complain about all of the homeless people hanging around town too, but instead of creating affordable housing that would make money, inspire people to take those shitty jobs and give them money to patronize local businesses, they’d rather grow more weed, and pay higher taxes, so that they can pay cops to chase poor people away from their phony downtown businesses. It’s ridiculous, and it’s cruel, and it’s just one facet of the ridiculous, and cruel, War on Drugs, but there it was, distilled down to a slogan you could put on a T-shirt, “Grow Big or Go Homeless.” Have we lost our minds?

Marijuana used to mellow people out, but today it has got them acting crazy. I realize that the answer to every problem we’ve faced in the past has been, “grow more marijuana,” but the future demands something else from us this time, and the sooner we realize it, the better. It speaks to the failure of our government, that it waged a War on Drugs against its own people, and it speaks to the bankruptcy of our economic system that we rely so heavily on the violence, corruption and human suffering wrought by the War on Drugs, but ultimately, how we handle this situation, here, together, as a community, will determine our fate. We have got to do better than “Grow Big or Go Homeless,” if we want to build any kind of a future here in Southern Humboldt.


John Hardin writes at Like You’ve Got Something Better to Do.

Narcan-Packing Arcata Police Officers Save Man Who Had OD’d on Heroin This Afternoon

Hank Sims / Sunday, Aug. 14 @ 6:29 p.m. / Emergencies



From the Arcata Police Department:

On Sunday August 14th 2016 at about 5:30pm, the Arcata Police Department responded to a reported drug overdose in the 500 block of South G Street.  Officers located an unconscious 29 year old male who was exhibiting symptoms of Heroin overdose.  Officers began rescue breathing and administered a dosage of Narcan nasal spray, which is a medication that counteracts the effects of opiate overdose.  Officers were able to revive the patient prior to the arrival of medical staff and he was transported to the Mad River Community Hospital in stable condition.

This is the first reported application of the drug, which resulted in the saving of a life for APD, since officers first deployed with the medication earlier this year.

Chance of Dry Thunderstorms in Eastern Humboldt Today, Later This Week

John Ross Ferrara / Sunday, Aug. 14 @ 1:31 p.m. / How ‘Bout That Weather

Eureka National Weather Service.

The U.S. National Weather Service reports a chance of isolated dry thunderstorms throughout eastern Humboldt this afternoon, and later this evening.

Meteorologist with the NWS of Eureka Ryan Aylward tells the Outpost that chances of lightning have decreased for today, but may pose a larger threat at the end of the week.

“We’re still waiting on any development out there,” Aylward said. “Today the clouds were a little higher than we expected; [Lightning] isn’t as likely as we were expecting, but that doesnt mean it isn’t still a threat.”

Aylward said a system with a higher chance of lightning may develop toward the end of the week.

Thunderstorms are also possible in eastern Del Norte and in Trinity Counties. LoCO keep you updated throughout the week.

Humboldt Time-Lapse: The Perseid Meteor Shower and a Stargazing Jackrabbit

John Ross Ferrara / Sunday, Aug. 14 @ 11:49 a.m. / photo , Science

Photography by David Wilson.

So you don’t live a 1 to 5 a.m. kind of lifestyle and you missed this week’s epic Perseid Meteor Shower. No sweat, Humboldt is filled with talented photographers who love to share their work.

This awesome time-lapse of the Perseid meteor shower is brought to us by photographer and College of the Redwoods lecturer David Wilson.

Wilson captured these images of the meteor shower on Thursday from the hills of SoHum.

Read more about his experience in the photo description he provided below.

The Perseid Meteor Shower as seen looking north toward Polaris on the night of August 11 from 10:15 p.m. to 3:01 a.m. on August 12. A jackrabbit came to watch, too, and becomes silhouetted against the horizon on the right side about a third of the way through. If you view in HD you might discern a few small meteors that come by in the area above his head. This time-lapse sequence comprises 565 individual high resolution still photographs shot with a digital SLR. Then, much as you would make a flip-book animation, they were assembled into a video that plays them back in order for us at 24 frames per second. It required 12 minutes of real time to make one second of the video, which is why the motion is so fast when played back at 24 stills per second. 

Some of the lights you see whizzing by are airplanes. The meteors flash and disappear, while the planes move across the frame. Why? Because during each 25-second exposure, a meteor appears for maybe a second. It doesn’t appear in the next picture. But an airplane crosses slowly across the entire 25-second exposure, and it is in the next frame as well, and probably in the next and maybe the next. Thus an airplane zooms across the whole field, while the meteor is a single streak, usually not stretching anywhere near across the entire sky.  There are a great many of both in this video, and probably the larger it can be viewed, and in HD, the more one will see.