Dorrington, CA -- Highway 4 will be intermittently closed this afternoon near the Ganns Meadow area.
It is due to smoke from the Ramsey Fire. Several fire engines have been moving to and from the scene. The 400 acre fire is located along the North Fork of the Stanislaus River. It is between the town of Dorrington and the nearby Cabbage Patch Maintenance Station.
The Forest Service is asking motorists to avoid Highway 4, near the fire, if at all possible. Those that are planning to travel along Highway 4 should prepare for extended delays.
A strike team has been dispatched to provide structure protection for some homes in the Ganns Meadow area. The fire is 20 percent contained.
Forest Service Spokesperson Jerry Snyder says officials believe the fire was the result of an escaped campfire. It was first spotted at around 2:45pm on Saturday.
High temperatures, and steep canyons, have posed problems for firefighters. As reported previously, one firefighter suffered heat stroke over the weekend. He was taken to a Modesto hospital and has since been released.
To view a map of the region, click here.
Columbia, CA -- The Sheriff's Office says a man pointed a gun at a Columbia mini-mart clerk and demanded money.
It happened Sunday at 3:30pm at the R&L Mini-Mart on Parrotts Ferry Road. Sgt. Jeff Wilson of the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office says the man, identified as 31-year-old Matthew Williams Birdsong, was armed with a semi-automatic handgun. The clerk gave Birdsong an undisclosed amount of money, after he threatened to kill her, and Birdsong ran from the store towards Columbia.
Deputies responded and spotted Birdsong sprinting towards the nearby Sierra Commons Apartments. Further investigation led them to a specific apartment building within the complex, and they demanded that he come outside. Right as the SWAT Team was prepared to break in, Birdsong surrendered and was arrested. Officials recovered the stolen money and the weapon. No one was injured. The Sheriff's Office reports that the investigation is ongoing. Birdsong is a transient without a permanent address.
Sheriff's Office Update: Several items of evidence were collected at the business, and apartment, including the AB 109 GPS tracker anklet Birdsong was supposed to be wearing but had removed.
Arnold, CA -- A fire in the Calaveras Ranger District of the Stanislaus National Forest has grown to 400 acres.
The Ramsey Fire is located along the north slope of the North Fork of the Stanislaus River. It is between the town of Dorrington and the nearby Cabbage Patch Maintenance Station.
Forest Service Spokesperson Jerry Snyder says officials believe it was the result of an escaped campfire. It was first spotted at around 2:45pm on Saturday. Some vacation cabins and homes are in the area, but they are not considered in danger at this time. There are no evacuation orders in place.
High temperatures, and steep canyons, have posed problems for firefighters. One firefighter suffered heat stroke over the weekend. He was taken to a Modesto hospital and has since been released.
274 firefighters are assisting the effort, and the fire is considered 20 percent contained. It is burning northwest, and is approximately ½ mile from Highway 4. Firefighters have been able to slow the spread significantly over the past 24 hours and are hoping that it will not reach the highway.
Sonora, CA -- Motorists are experiencing a delay through downtown Sonora this morning.
The Sonora Police Department is on scene helping a tow truck remove a vehicle near the historic Red Church. The south bound lane of Washington Street will be completely closed for about 15 more minutes. The road should be back open by 10am.
To view a map of the area, click here.
Sonora, CA -- The Sonora Police Department is asking for your assistance in locating Billy Joe Holtzclaw.
This week's "Most Wanted" suspect is 6'0" and 200 lbs. Holtzclaw has a felony warrant for theft with prior convictions. If you see Holtzclaw or have information of his whereabouts, please call the Sonora Police Department at (209) 532-8141. Do not attempt to approach or contact Holtzclaw. Your call can remain anonymous.
Valley Springs, CA -- A motorcycle ride turned fatal last night in Calaveras County.
The CHP reports that 36-year-old Adam Charles Hosford of Valley Springs was riding on Bane Road near Cox Drive on his 1983 Honda. The CHP reports that he lost control of the bike going into a turn and slammed into a dirt embankment. Hosford was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. It happened just after five o'clock last night.
To view a map of the area, click here.
President Obama was Monday's KMVL "Newsmaker of the Day". Here are his words:
"Hi, everybody. Today, I want to talk about something that most of you know already - it's hot outside. It's really hot. And if this feels worse than normal, that's because it is. We just found out that the month of July was the warmest month on record - warmer than any other month since we began keeping track more than a century ago.
But the heat is just half the story. We're also suffering through one of the worst droughts in over 50 years. More than a fifth of this country is experiencing what we call "extreme" or "exceptional" drought - with states like Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas getting hit harder than most.
That's bad news for a lot of people, but it's especially tough on our farmers. Right now, half of the corn crop in America is in poor or very poor condition. Cattle farmers are struggling to feed their animals. Many folks are seeing their livelihoods dry up in front of their eyes. And if we don't get relief soon, Americans everywhere will start feeling the pinch, with higher prices on grocery store shelves all across the country.
We can't let that happen. That's why, at my direction, the Department of Agriculture, led by Secretary Vilsack, has been working with other agencies across the federal government to make sure we're doing everything we can to help farmers and ranchers fight back and recover from this disaster. Already, we've given farmers across 32 states access to low-interest emergency loans.
We've opened up more federal land for grazing. And we're working with crop insurance companies to give farmers a short grace period on their premiums, since some families will be struggling to make ends meet at the end of the year.
This past week, we went even further - announcing an additional $30 million to help get more water to livestock and restore land affected by the drought. We're making it easier for even more farmers, ranchers and businesses to get emergency loans. And the Department of Transportation is helping more truck drivers deliver supplies to states that need them the most.
This is an all-hands-on-deck response, and we'll be doing even more in the coming weeks to help families and communities that are suffering right now.
But my Administration can't do it alone. Congress needs to do its part, too. They need to pass a farm bill that not only helps farmers and ranchers respond to these kinds of disasters, but also makes necessary reforms and gives them some certainty year-round. That's the single best way we can help rural communities right now, and also in the long-term.
So call your Members of Congress, write them an email, and tell them that now is the time to come together and get this done. Too many Americans are suffering right now to let politics get in the way. Let's help farmers, ranchers and business owners recover. Let's make sure that families who already stretch their budgets to the limit don't have to pay more for groceries this fall.
In the meantime, I'll keep doing everything I can to help respond to this disaster. Because at times like these, it doesn't matter if you live in Des Moines or Detroit - we're Americans first. And if we look out for each other, we'll come out of this stronger than before.
The "Newsmaker of the Day" is heard each weekday morning on AM 1450 KVML at 6:45, 7:45 and 8:45am.