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  • Southbound I-5 reopened after fatal CHP shooting near Dunsmuir

    Published On: Jul 30 2015 12:35:36 PM CDT   Updated On: Jul 30 2015 01:09:00 PM CDT
    DUNSMUIR, Calif. -

    All but one southbound and northbound lane on Interstate 5 have been reopened as of 1:40 p.m. at Mott Road in Siskiyou County.

    Traffic was slowed in the area after a deadly officer-involved shooting Thursday morning.

    According to a news release from the CHP, officers were involved in a shooting at the end of a pursuit on Interstate 5.

    Investigators said it started at 6:53 a.m. when officers stopped to check on a motorist who was parked on the right shoulder of southbound I-5, north of North Weed Boulevard in Weed.

    Officers said they contacted the man driving the 2004 Chevy Malibu, and spotted a gun in the car.

    That's when officers said the man sped away and they started the pursuit. The chase continued approximately 16 miles south on the interstate. Officers used a spike-strip and the Chevy came to a stop in the center divider at Mott Road north of Dunsmuir.

    The CHP said the man driving the vehicle pointed a gun at officers. Officers returned fire and the suspect was killed. The driver was the only person in the car. The man's name was not immediately released.

    The southbound lanes are closed at Mott Road and will remain closed until mid-day due to the police investigation. A detour is in place using the Mott Road off-ramp.

    The CHP's Critical Incident Investigative Team (CIT) and Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office are conducting the investigation.

    Motorists are asked to use caution in the area and expect delays into the evening hours. 

  • Lightning fires prompt mandatory evacuations in Trinity Co.

    Published On: Jul 31 2015 12:40:21 PM CDT   Updated On: Jul 31 2015 03:09:51 PM CDT

    Lightning fire near Hayfork Thursday evening (Photo from Gary Tucker)

    HYAMPOM, Calif. -

    In Trinity County, more than 40 lightning fires were sparked Thursday afternoon and evening.

    One of the fires has prompted mandatory evacuations for Hyampom at the end of Kerlin Creek Road, 3N44and 3N50. There is also an advisory evacuation for the town of Denny.

    The Red Cross is setting up an evacuation shelter at the Solid Rock Christian Church located at 66 Tule Creek Road in Hayfork.

    According to Tom Hall with the South Fork Management Unit of the U.S. Forest Service said firefighters have confirmed about 40 fires. Hall said they believe there are more fires, based on air attack observation and the number of lightning strikes.

    KRCR News Channel 7 Meteoroloist Rob Elvington said there were more than 400 lightning strikes Thursday afternoon and evening in Trinity, Humboldt and Mendocino Counties.

    The fires are burning between the Yolla Bolly Wilderness stretching from Hyampom north into the Trinity Alps.

    Hyampom and Hayfork are the firefighters' highest priority.  Hall said overnight they were dealing with several fires measuring 10 acres or less. But the fires appeared to be  growing Friday morning due to the increase in temperatures.

    Another intense fire was burning near the Ruth Lake Reservoir. The heat from the fire showed up on satellite and radar.

    Dan Dill at Six Rivers National Forest said the fire at Ruth Lake is called the Pickett Fire. It is burning on Pickett's Peak above the lake.

    It's burning in an area scarred in a fire during the 1990's. The fire is estimated at 40 acres

    No structures are threatened by the Pickett Fire. There are communication towers that are threatened. They have firefighters working to defend them.

  • Fires in Trinity County force evacuations

    Published On: Jul 31 2015 05:13:02 PM CDT   Updated On: Jul 31 2015 09:41:52 PM CDT

    UPDATE 7:40 p.m.: Highway 3 is closed from the junction of Highway 36 to Morgan Hill Road. Highway 36 is closed from the Humboldt and Trinity County line.

    UPDATE 6:48 p.m.: Roads are closed at Highway 36 to Post Mountain Road and Highway 3 to Highway 36 to Hyampom Road.

    There are evacuations in the Post Mountain area.

    The Blue Fire and the Rail Fire have both crossed Highway 36.

    UPDATE 6:30 p.m.: Carrie Bayley with the Trinity County Fairgrounds said they are accepting large animals and livestock if residents can get through the road closures.

    UPDATE 6 p.m.: The Rail Fire is over 800 acres and the Barker Fire is over 500 acres.

    UPDATE 5:33 p.m.: The U.S. Forest Service is reporting evacuations for the Rail Fire in Hayfork from Mill Creek Road to Highway 3, Barker Creek Road, Mill Gulch area, mile marker 3.18 on Highway 3 all the way to the Hayfork Dump, Morgan Hill Road, Kingsbury Road, Pine Street, and Dirt Street.

    In Hyampom, evacuations have been issued for Road 60 to Corral Bottom, Kerlin Creek Road, 3N44, 3N50, Road 16 and Road 47.

    For Mad River, evacuations have been issued for Mad River Road from Highway 36 to Three Forks.

    Voluntary evacuations are still in place for the Denny area, in Hayfork Farmer Ranch/Big Creek ROad, in Ruth on Lower Mad River Road from the Ruth Marina/Journey's Inn to the Ruth/Zenia Road.

    Highway 3 southbound is closed from Hyampom Road to Highway 36.

    The Red Cross is setting up an evacuation center in Hayfork at the Solid Rock Christian Church, 66 Tule Creek Road, and in Mad River at the Van Duzen Elementary School at 680 Van Duzen Road.

    According to the Frontier Fuel gas station along Highway 3, they have run out of fuel for those trying to evacuate and are expecting a truck to arrive in about two and a half hours.

    Original:

    Three sets of fires, burning in Trinity County are forcing people to evacuate their homes.

    The Fork Complex of fires is burning west of Hyampom. According to the Trinity County Sheriff's Office a mandatory evacuation order has been issued for the end of Kerlin Creek Road, 3N44 & 3N50, in Hyampom.

    There is also an advisory evacuation order in place for the town of Denny.

    There are also mandatory evacuations for the town of Peanut.

    Fire officials said the Fork Complex fires have reached 150 acres. The amount of containment is unknown at this time.

    The Barker Fire is burning northeast of  Hayfork. Mandatory evacuations have been issued for Barker Creek Road.

    Cal Fire says the fire is 120 acres with no containment. 

    The Red Cross has set up an evacuation center at the Solid Rock Christian Church at 66 Tule Creek Road in Hayfork for the evacuees of the Fork Complex and Barker fires. 

    To the south and west, the Pickett Fire is burning north of Ruth Lake and mandatory evacuations have been issued for Hobart Road to Highway 36 in Mad River. Advisory evacuations have been issued for both sides of Lower Mad River Road from Ruth Marina/Journey's End to Ruth/Zenia Road around Ruth Lake. Officials warn these may become mandatory at a moment's notice. 

    The Red Cross is setting up an evacuation center for this fire at Lamb Creek Christian Center on Highway 36. 

    Officials said if you would like more information on the evacuation orders, please contact your local law enforcement office. They add there are fire information boards in the following locations; Hayfork at Frontier Fuel, Hyampom at the Volunteer Fire Department and Yolla Bolla at the Platina Store.

  • Repeat fire frustrates Redding chief, neighbor

    Published On: Jul 31 2015 02:23:32 AM CDT   Updated On: Jul 31 2015 02:34:01 AM CDT
    REDDING, Calif. -

    It was déjà vu. Maybe not for those who happened to pass by a wild scene of flames at a busy intersection in Redding. But for Jerry Phillips, at his home on Leisha Lane, it was a scene he had seen just hours before.

    “I said, ‘oh no! Not again.”

    The vegetation fire on the corner of Buenaventura Boulevard and Highway 299 was only an acre in size, and it didn't burn any homes or force evacuations. But it was enough to pull resources from the fires which, as of Thursday, were in fact burning homes and forcing evacuations.

    Across the ravine at the intersection is Phillips’ cul-de-sac. Two times Thursday, he watched fires spark up in the same spot. He saw the first one from his kitchen window around 2:00 p.m.

    "I looked out and first saw flames about 6-feet high. They were coming from three garbage cans that were over across the street,” Phillips said.

    Redding Fire Inspector Craig Wittner confirmed what Phillips saw. Wittner said what was inside the neighbors’ garbage cans like combusted. Engines on their way to other fires spotted it and put it out.

    "We've been busy,” said Redding Fire Chief Gerry Gray. "We are at a very serious draw down in our county when it comes to available resources.”

    Having to pull resources, for these smaller incidents, has been frustrating for Gray. With multiple fires burning these last few days, and many more active fires to battle, firefighters moved on from the garbage can fire.

    Like them, Jerry Phillips also thought it was over and done with.

    "I'm sitting back in my living room and I look out. I see a big billowing bunch of smoke, and I say, 'oh no! Not again!'"

    Wittner said it may have taken just one small ember from the burned trash, sitting unnoticed in the dry vegetation for nearly three hours, to quickly catch fire and destroy this acre of vegetation.

    Phillips talked about first seeing it spark up again.

    "I said let's just get this over with, call 911, get them out here and get it extinguished,” he said. “But by then, that fire was so fast - this is so hot at 110-degree weather - and it just swirled, and the winds were swirling a little bit, and it just went 'whew!'"

    Firefighters returned to put the vegetation fire out. Chief Gray applauded his crew, despite firefighting frustrations.

    "Thankfully, we've been able to keep them small. But these little ones continue to tax our available resources,” he said.

    It's on to the next big one for them. Jerry Phillips hopes they'll have no reason to return. 

  • Driver in Siskiyou Co. officer-involved shooting identified

    Published On: Jul 31 2015 03:17:45 PM CDT

    The man shot and killed in an officer-involved shooting on Interstate 5 near Mott Road after a pursuit by the California Highway Patrol has been identified.

    According to the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office, the armed suspect is Ryan Daniel Vrenon, 25, of Carson City, Nevada. Vrenon was pronounced dead at the scene of the incident following an exchange of gunfire with involved CHP officers.

    The CHP and the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office is conducting a criminal investigation into the officer-involved shooting incident that occurred in the center-divider area of Interstate 5 just south of the CHP’s Dunsmuir Grade Inspection Facility in the early morning on Thursday.

    An autopsy has been scheduled for Tuesday, August 4, 2015.

    Anyone with information about this incident or Vrenon’s prior activities is urged to contact the CHP’s Northern Division managing investigative Assistant Chief at 530-242-4363, or the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office 24-hour dispatch center at 530-841-2900.

  • Good Samaritans killed in Montana

    Published On: Jul 31 2015 03:28:02 AM CDT

    Law enforcement says Tana and Jason Shane, Jr., were shot and killed Wednesday morning by 18-year old Jesus Deniz Mendoza while helping him after he had run out of gas. The couple’s 18-year-old daughter, who has not been identified, was wounded.

  • Repeat fire frustrates Redding chief, neighbor

    Published On: Jul 31 2015 02:21:57 AM CDT
  • Great white shark puts kibosh on marathon swim

    Published On: Jul 31 2015 02:01:56 AM CDT

    Simon Dominguez’ marathon swimming attempt along California’s Pacific coast was canceled  after 18 hours due to the presence of  a great white shark.

  • Shasta Dam feasibility report reaction

    Published On: Jul 30 2015 09:18:15 PM CDT
  • Grumpy puppy takes Facebook by storm

    Published On: Jul 31 2015 01:36:04 AM CDT

    Derek Bloomfield and Christie Bailey, the owners of Earl, the grumpy-looking pug/beagle mix puppy, say the Facebook sensation is really is a mellow sweetheart.