Pinecrest, CA -- The Power Fire in the Stanislaus National Forest is contained. About 20 fire fighters remain on the scene as well as one engine and water tender. The fire broke out around 6am on August 5th along the eastern edge of Beardsley Reservoir, near Hells Half Acre Road. It has burned 1070 acres of vegetation and threatened a hundred homes and some service roads were closed. It was called contained at around one this afternoon; just a little over a week since it started.
Forest Service officials say the rough and steep terrain made it hard for fire fighters to battle the blaze. They say one key weapon that helped them get a foot hold on the fire was the DC-10 airplane that dropped nearly 12,000 gallons of fire retardant onto the flames. The first couple of days smoke filled the air as trees and brush burned.
Pinecrest which was just four miles below the blaze was blanketed in smoke. The hazy skies could also be seen as far down as Sonora. A smoke alert was issued in Tuolumne County warning of the dangers to those with respiratory problems, the elderly and small children. Also, Highway 108 was closed down intermittently due to smoke, but local businesses and recreation areas remained open. Towards the end of the fire some service roads were closed to allow crews to move equipment.
At the height of the fire some 570 fire fighters battled the blaze with13 hand crews, 38 engines, 5 helicopters 2 fixed wings, 14 water tenders and 3 dozers. The agencies involved included: US Forest Service, CAL FIRE, Tuolumne County Fire, California Highway Patrol, Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office, Caltrans, PG&E and Tri-Dam Project.
Arnold, CA -- Thieves hit the Sierra Nevada Logging museum for a second time. This time they cut two metal cables that held down a display on the front porch of the museum. Inside the display case was a scaled down model of a running mill complete with a water wheel. Calaveras County Sheriff's Officials say the theft took place between Friday night and Saturday morning.
The display is worth $700 dollars. The museum is offering a $250 dollar reward for its return. Sheriff's Officials say they have no leads at this time. If you have any information on this crime you can call the Calaveras County Sheriff's Office at 754-6500.
Click here for a story on an earlier theft at the museum.
Lake Don Pedro, CA -- The Tuolumne County Sheriff's boat patrol is diving in Lake Don Pedro searching for a drowning victim. The boating accident happened just after one this afternoon near the Fleming Meadows Boat Ramp.
Sheriff's Spokesperson Officer James Oliver says, "An 87-year-old man, his wife and adult daughter were on a small boat. They were heading out to their houseboat. When they pulled up to the houseboat the man either tried to grab the houseboat or tie the small boat up to the houseboat and fell overboard. At that point, the daughter jumped into the water to help him, but she wasn't able to find him."
Oliver says that is when rescue crews were alerted to the accident. He says it has been determined a drowning as divers are still searching in the water for the man's body. Oliver says the name of the victim will not be released until the body has been found.
Update 7:30pm: Sheriff's Officials have no word on whether the body has been recovered.
Sonora, CA -- The Sonora Planning Commission approved extending a dish in the downtown area as long as certain landscaping requirements are met. The Commission voted unanimously to allow an AT&T owned dish receiver to go up another 12 ft.
The dish is on top of a building at 31 William Street. The reason for the extension request was because trees in the area were blocking the signal to a tower on Bald Mountain. The conditional use permit will allow the microwave monopole to go up from 35 ft. to 47 ft. Also, the current dish will be replaced with the same size dish, but a newer model.
Sonora Community Development Director Rachelle Kellogg says the permit is contingent on landscaping being done at both the dish and tower locations.
"They (company) were supposed to do a better job of landscaping when they put the generator by the tower. Also, they haven't maintained it so staff requested the commission put a condition on this project. They needed to get the earlier landscaping cleaned up and new landscaping done before we issue permits on a new project. Then we also added the addition of the landscaping along William Street because the planter boxes are in pretty poor condition," says Kellogg.
The landscaping will consist of trees, shrubs and repairs on an irrigation system.
Alpine County, CA -- Caltrans has closed Highway 4 this afternoon for road work.
For motorists coming from Calaveras County, the highway is closed starting at the winter closure gate #2 (Lake Alpine). The highway will remain closed until 4pm as crews are in the midst of an overlay project. The work is being done mid-week in an effort to avoid heavy crowds that typically travel over the pass on weekends.
Pinecrest, CA -- Officials maintain that the Power Fire in the Stanislaus National Forest should be contained by 6pm.
The fire is still listed as 97% contained and 1,070 acres. Around 30 firefighters are on scene this afternoon, and the growth potential is considered very low. Resources at the fire include three water tenders, two helicopters, and an engine, hand crew, and a dozer.
The fire is located four miles northwest of Pinecrest.
Sonora, CA -- The T.U.D. Board of Directors could select members today for a committee that will look at connection fees paid by new customers.
The issue of whether fees paid by developers are in line with the current economy has been a contentious issue at recent meetings. Board documents show that T.U.D.'s proposed Public Advisory Committee would include Ron Kopf of the Tuolumne County Business Council, Connie Williams of the Sonora City Council, Mike Laird of the Tuolumne County Community Development Department, Becky Miller-Cripps as a T.U.D. customer advocate, Tom Trott of the Twain Harte Community Services District, and a to-be-determined representative from the Tuolumne County Farm Bureau.
The group would give regular reports to the T.U.D. Board. It would evaluate treated water connection fees first, and then wastewater connection fees at a later time.
In other business, the board will appoint members to various committees at its meeting this afternoon. The Board also needs to pick a new Vice President, as the position was held by former member Jim Grinnell. Today will be the first official meeting for new Board member Ruanne Mikkelsen.
T.U.D. meetings can be viewed online at www.tudwater.com. The meeting will begin at 2pm.
Columbia, CA -- Motorists should expect delays on Highway 49 near Columbia today.
CVIN broadband contractors will be working on Highway 49 between Shaws Flat Road and Parrotts Ferry Road. Delays of 5-10 minutes can be expected throughout the day.
There is also a lot of work taking place on Highway 49 in Calaveras County. Click here to read an earlier story with the details.
Sacramento, CA -- Several bills were signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown.
Brown is Tuesday's KVML Newsmaker of the Day. Below is a list of all the bills that received the Governor's signature yesterday. The one that has captured the most attention statewide is AB 1266, which allows transgender students to pick which school restroom they would like to use. You can find more details about the specific bills by clicking here.
AB 61 by Assemblymember Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake) - Parking: parking meters.
AB 163 by Assemblymember Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) - Sales and use taxes exemption: military thrift store.
AB 226 by Assemblymember Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) -Classified employees: school police: workweek.
AB 265 by Assemblymember Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake) - Local government liability: dog parks.
AB 372 by Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton) -Civil service: veterans'preference in hiring.
AB 383 by Assemblymember Donald P. Wagner (R-Irvine)- Maintenance of the codes.
AB 392 by Assemblymember Reginald Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles) - State mandates: prorated claims.
AB 464 by Assemblymember Tom F. Daly (D-Anaheim)- Vital records.
AB 493 by Assemblymember Tom F. Daly (D-Anaheim) -Toll facilities.
AB 643 by Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Scotts Valley)- Public schools: pupil records: confidentiality.
AB 824 by Assemblymember Brian W. Jones (R-Santee)- Written agreements: exclusion of evidence.
AB 984 by Assemblymember Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park) - The California Housing Finance Agency.
AB 1058 by Assemblymember Rocky Chαvez (R-Oceanside) -San Diego County Regional Airport Authority.
AB 1160 by Assemblymember Donald P. Wagner (R-Irvine) - Decedents'estates: personal representative.
AB 1266 by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) - Pupil rights: sex-segregated school programs and activities.
AB 1404 by the Committee on Judiciary - Real property: boundaries.
AB 1427 by the Committee on Local Government- Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Local Government Reorganization Act of 2000.
SB 292 by Senator Ellen Corbett (D-Hayward)- Employment: sexual harassment.
SB 488 by Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) -Substandard housing: regulations.
SB 546 by Senator Roderick D. Wright (D-Los Angeles) - Education employment: termination: hearing.
SB 581 by Senator Mark Wyland (R-Escondido) - School bonds: bond accountability.