Rancho Tehama fire | Butte County wildfire risk | Normalcy eludes Paradise teens
The latest North State and California news on our airwaves for Tuesday, June 14.
Tehama County fire destroys multiple structures; 20% contained
A fire in Tehama County northwest of Corning has destroyed 10 structures, and is threatening more than 100 others.
As of the latest update Monday night, Cal Fire’s Tehama-Glenn Unit said the Rancho Fire in Rancho Tehama, which sparked Monday afternoon, is 700 acres and 20% contained.
According to Tehama County’s evacuation map, evacuations remain in place. Cal Fire says 158 structures remained threatened. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
— Andre Byik, NSPR
Wildfire risk persists as summer fire season approaches; Forest Ranch, Cohasset of high concern
As summer approaches and temperatures begin to rise, so does fire risk.
Cal Fire’s Butte Unit says elevated fire conditions will continue across the entire county throughout the summer. The agency says it’s been working to reduce dry vegetation in high-risk areas of Butte County, but Cal Fire Public Information Officer Rick Carhart says residents need to remain vigilant, especially in two specific communities.
“We’re putting a lot of emphasis on the Forest Ranch and Cohasset areas because those are two of the sort of mountainous or, you know, hilly areas that we haven’t had major fires in the past few years,” Carhart said.
He said the agency has been doing a lot of work on the Cohasset Ridge removing fuels by hand and burning them.
“What that really is doing is trying to protect the entire Cohasset community so that a fire doesn't come over that ridge and get into Cohasset,” he said. “The fuel growth in those areas is pretty high."
Carhart said another important factor in protecting any community is creating defensible space around your home. He said it’s also important that Butte County residents know their evacuation zone, which the Sheriff’s Office recently created and has mapped on its website.
— Alec Stutson, NSPR
Camp Fire, pandemic rob Paradise graduates of normalcy
Paradise High School’s class of 2022 graduated earlier this month. During their time in high school, these students experienced the 2018 Camp Fire. Then the COVID-19 pandemic.
Freelance reporter Colleen Hagerty interviewed four students in the graduating class for an article in Teen Vogue. Hagerty told The California Report that students’ experiences and contributions during disasters should never be underestimated.
“We need to be talking to students more about what these experiences mean to them, and then taking that into consideration and empowering them to take action in the aftermath,” Hagerty said.
Hagerty added that as disasters become more common, it's even more important for adults to listen to and learn from teenagers’ experiences.
Listen to The California Report’s full interview with Hagerty.
— Adia White, NSPR
Prescribed Fire Training Exchanges teach communities how to learn and burn together
The practice of cultural and prescribed burning can make communities more resilient to wildfire, but it takes training and knowledge. One of the ways to start learning about fire is to attend a Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (TREX).
Erin Banwell is a TREX coach and co-director of fire management at the Watershed Research and Training Center in Hayfork. She says getting people trained in how to conduct prescribed burns is essential.
“Indigenous peoples have been managing these ecosystems since time immemorial,” Banwell said. “I mean, fire is necessary to keep our ecosystems healthy, and if our ecosystems aren't healthy, we're not healthy either.”
Banwell said prescribed fire also helps keep communities safe. Something she says may seem counterintuitive considering how severe wildfires have been in California recently.
“But that's really what it is at the end of the day,” she said. “It’s the more fire that's in ecosystems on a frequent return interval, the less explosive wildfires we have.”
The state has a goal of treating a million acres per year by 2025, but Banwell said the acreage will only be reached if local capacity to perform prescribed burns is increased. She says her organization is focused on building workforce capacity by training volunteers who help landowners complete prescribed burns on their properties.
— Sarah Bohannon, NSPR
After contentious election year, Shasta County’s registrar of voters holds lead
Recent elections in Shasta County have gained national attention. In February, a militia-backed effort led to the recall of a conservative Republican supervisor.
Cathy Darling Allen is the county’s clerk and has overseen elections as the registrar of voters for 18 years. She was in the spotlight during this year’s recall. She also ran for re-election last week.
Votes are still being counted, but Darling Allen holds a large lead against challenger Bob Holsinger. She hopes this means something about people’s faith in democracy.
“Folks have confidence in my ability and in my neutrality,” Darling Allen said. “You know, it’s really important that the person who administers this process not have a political agenda to try and deliver when counting ballots.”
She said with some 16,000 ballots still left to process, the outcome of some races may not be known for weeks.
— CapRadio Staff
Young people call for action on gun violence
Thousands of young people across the country — including in California — led rallies this weekend calling on elected officials to support gun reform.
“The March for our Lives” protests are student-led demonstrations that were first organized after the deadly massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida in 2018. After the recent mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, many young people say they don't feel safe going to school.
Over the weekend, a bipartisan group of senators reached agreement on gun legislation. It includes funds for states to implement red flag laws to remove firearms from potentially dangerous people, money for school safety and mental health resources and expanded background checks.
The bill has not been put into writing yet, but at least two prominent gun safety advocacy groups are backing the legislation. Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action expressed support for the proposal.
Listen to students’ voices in today’s Headlines.
— Keith Mizuguchi (KQED), The California Report
Stories from NPR partner stations are edited by NSPR Staff for digital presentation and credited as requested.
In other news
- Five takeaways from Butte County Point-in-Time count: “The community report describes the data collected from a survey of people experiencing homelessness conducted on a single day, January 25, 2022 and is available to view at https://www.buttehomelesscoc.com/.” — Chico Enterprise-Record
- Chico to host environmental justice meeting, collect public input: “Chico is hosting in-person meetings to collect input on the newly required Environmental Justice Element in the city’s 2030 General Plan.” — Chico Enterprise-Record
- Plumas Search and Rescue coordinator discusses Canyon closure rescues: “The morning after mud and debris closed Highway 70 through the Feather River Canyon, the coordinator of Plumas County Search and Rescue, Mike Grant, discussed the situation rescuers encountered the afternoon of June 12 in the Chips Creek/Rock Creek areas.” — Plumas News
- LCC president informs college community about his resignation: “Dr. Trevor Albertson, the superintendent/president of Lassen Community College, sent a letter addressed to his ‘colleagues’ regarding his decision to resign.” — Lassen County Times
- Domestic violence incident leads to fatal pursuit in Red Bluff: “A man being sought in connection with a domestic violence incident was killed in a crash Sunday after fleeing law enforcement on Antelope Boulevard in Red Bluff.” — Red Bluff Daily News
- Primary election results: When are Siskiyou's results final?: “Voters decided on three contested local races and Measure P in the statewide primary on June 7.” — The Siskiyou Daily News
- Man takes plea deal in double murder: “Facing up to 33 years to life for the deaths of a mother and daughter, a Yuba City man accepted a plea deal Monday after being involved in a head-on collision with the pair in September of last year.” — The Appeal-Democrat
In case you missed it
- Fire Returned: Fire is for everyone — NSPR (Headlines, June 13)
- Officials warn high temperatures, dry vegetation bring wildfire risk — NSPR (Headlines, June 13)
- Overworked California firefighters struggle with PTSD, suicide, fatigue, intensifying wildfires — CalMatters
- Tehama County fire doubles in size over the weekend — Redding Record Searchlight
- Highway 70 closed in the Canyon; Search and Rescue reaches stranded vehicles — Plumas News
- Don’t look now, but COVID is still around — Lassen County Times
- James Gallagher honors Jesus Center at Capitol — Chico Enterprise-Record
- Red Bluff accepts applications for three cannabis dispensaries — Red Bluff Daily News
- Yreka to explore marijuana dispensary legalization — The Siskiyou Daily News