Fires: August 1

Aug 1, 2015

Updated 8:12 a.m.

Rampant wildfires and continuing drought conditions led Governor Brown to declare a state of fire emergency Friday. 

The Trinity County Sheriff’s Office is issuing a Mandatory Evacuation for the following areas:

Award-winning Chico Poet, essayist, and short story writer George Keithley's epic poem The Donner Party, was made into an opera.  He now has written a new book, a novel about a volcano expert headquartered near Lassen Peak, which is really about family.

College English teacher Lisa Berman writes about love and loss in her collections of poems, SaltWild.  Poems inspired by her own life.

On Thursday, a report from California's Water Resources Control Board detailed how every water district in the state fared against prescribed water conservation in June. 

A few North State water districts did a great job conserving water. Cal Water Chico, Paradise Irrigation District, Shasta Lake, Bella Vista and Woodland all surpassed their reduction goals by at least 10 percent.

Fires: July 31

Jul 31, 2015

Updated 5:45 p.m.

Governor Brown today declared a state of fire emergency.

In Trinity County, a fire five miles north of Hayfork has quickly grown to 120 acres and has prompted evacuations for Barker Creek Road. A shelter is set up at the Solid Rock Christian Church in Hayfork.

In Shasta County, evacuation orders have been lifted for the China Fire near Happy Valley. It totals 212 acres at 80 percent containment.

The dwarf planet Ceres is the largest object in the Asteroid Belt. NASA's Dawn spacecraft is using its special ion engine to stay in orbit around Ceres. Dave Schlom talks with mission director and chief engineer Mark Rayman about the craft and what wonderful new science it will send back next.

Fires: July 30

Jul 30, 2015

Updated 5:35 p.m. 

·       Two fires very close together a few miles southeast of Redding have burned 135 acres total. One is 90 percent contained, the other 50 percent.

Darren and Brad / Flickr, Creative Commons

As temperatures heat up this week you’ll want to watch out for something that might be a little surprising – falling tree limbs.

The phenomenon is called “sudden limb drop.” Although it probably goes unnoticed by many, Dan Efseaff, Park and Natural Resource manager for Chico’s Public Works Department, said it actually happens in Chico every year.

“We get these really warm days, low wind conditions and we’ll have an uptick in live branches that will suddenly drop,” he said.

Bob the Lomond / Flickr Creative Commons

A long-awaited study on raising the height of Shasta Dam and increasing the size of the 70-year-old reservoir was released to Congress Wednesday.

The report, and its recommendations, could pave the way for legislative action and appropriations to someday make an enlarged reservoir a reality. 

The preferred alternative would see the 602-foot-tall dam rise another 18.5 feet. Such a move would increase the reservoir’s maximum capacity by more than 600,000 acre-feet to 5.1 million. The proposal is estimated to cost $1.2 billion.

Fires: July 29

Jul 29, 2015

Updated at 5:40 p.m.

A fire off Swedes Flat Road in Southeastern Butte County three miles north of Bangor has quickly swelled up to 200 acres. It’s 10 percent contained. Evacuations are in place for Stony Oaks Loop, Gold Mountain Road, Stoney Oaks Boulevard, Obert Drive and Gaston Booth Drive. An evacuation center is set up in Oroville at the Church of the Nazarene, 2238 Monte Vista Avenue. Large animals can be taken to Camelot Equestrian Center, 1985 Clark Road.

Elsewhere in California:

The man who started last September’s Boles Fire was sentenced Tuesday to three years in jail with a probation recommendation.

Twenty-five-year-old Ronald Marshall pleaded guilty earlier this month to charges relating to starting the fire.

After the tentative sentence was announced, those affected by the fire had a chance to address Marshall directly. Some voiced disappointment, saying the sentence should have been much longer. Others expressed forgiveness.

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