Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Near Shelter Cove Today

Kym Kemp / Today @ 11:21 a.m. /  Crime

Folks in the southwestern part of the county are reporting a large law enforcement presence in the Windy Ridge area near Shelter Cove.

Lt. Wayne Hanson of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that his department is serving a search warrant related to marijuana in the Shelter Cove area today.

We’ll update as we gather more information.

Five Giant Greenhouses Containing 3,500 Marijuana Plants Discovered on Salmon Creek Road, One Arrested

Andrew Goff / Today @ 11:03 a.m. /  marijuana

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release:

On 9-15-14 at about 0900 hrs. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Drug Enforcement Unit served a Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant on a parcel of land on Salmon Creek Road. At that location Deputies located (5) five large greenhouse with growing marijuana. The (2) two larger commercial size greenhouses measure 200 ft. in length by 50 ft. wide. All five of greenhouses contained growing marijuana that later totaled 3,500 plants.

Also, located on the property and later arrested for cultivation of Marijuana and Cultivation for the purposes of sales was a 61 year old male, Joseph Collier. Collier had been living on the property in a travel trailer. Deputies also located and seized over $37,000 in cash that was found in the Collier’s travel trailer. During their search, Deputies discovered 283 lbs of processed marijuana buds packaged in one pound oven bags.  Collier’s last known address was in the Monterey area.

Further investigations into environmental damages on the large grow site were conducted by California Fish and Wildlife, California State Air Quality and the County Building Department.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

[Photos] Sheriff’s Deputies in Salmon Creek

Kym Kemp / Yesterday @ 10:46 a.m. /  marijuana

UPDATE 4:34 p.m.: According to a neighbor looking across the canyon through a telescope at the operation, the officers are chipping the marijuana with a wood chipper. “They’re just chipping the 2nd or 3rd [greenhouse] now,” the neighbor said about 4:30 p.m.. “They’re chopping [the pot] down and carrying it to the door and throwing it out. Their chipper’s going to gum up with all they’re doing.”

Then the neighbor added, “Those poor guys are really working hard and earning their money.”

UPDATE 1:40 p.m.: These two photos were taken about two hours after the one below. Marijuana plants in the upper greenhouse have been partially eradicated. To the right in the upper photo are vehicles containing, according to scanner traffic, employees of the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife and Humboldt Co. Planning Dept.



UPDATE 1:30 p.m.: Photo of the property being raided. There are five greenhouses, two large to the front of the photo. Three smaller behind.


Original post:

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies are in Salmon Creek this morning. Multiple trucks with trailers as well as other vehicles have gone to a property with multiple greenhouses.

There are “numerous units in the Salmon Creek area on a warrant,” Sgt. Kevin Miller of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s office.

Scanner traffic indicates there is an active pump in the creek. The Department of Fish and Wildlife has been called for as well as the Humboldt County Planning Department. Miller could not confirm these details at this time.


What If You Needed an Ambulance and It Wasn’t There?

Kym Kemp / Yesterday @ 7:43 a.m. /  Humboldt

Heart pounding, fingers clenched, tears welling in eyes, almost every day in Humboldt and Trinity County parents watch as children are loaded into ambulances. Or wives and husbands clasp the hand of their spouse one more time before the EMT closes the door and speeds off in an emergency vehicle with lights flashing.

When you need help for a loved one, you want an ambulance to be there and ready to go quickly.

STAR (Southern Trinity Area Rescue) is a volunteer organization that provides emergency services for some of eastern Humboldt and the southern third of Trinity County—1250 square miles of remote hills and valleys and the individuals that live in them.

They need a new ambulance.

Our youngest ambulance is nine years old. We have two,” explained Brooke Entsminger of Bridgeville who works with STAR. “After about 9 years, they start breaking down. The rural rugged dirt roads we go to help the rescue people put a lot of wear and tear on our vehicles.”

For 35 years, STAR has been covering the people living in the remote corners of two rural counties. They are the ambulance for the Ruth Lake area. “Many Humboldt people play and camp in our service area,” Entsminger said.

STAR replaces the ambulances on average about every 10 years. “Last time we replaced them,” Entsminger said, “there was a lot more grant money.” Now, she said, “the grants are getting harder and harder to get which is why we are turning to the community.”  The volunteer-staffed non-profit has set up a fundraising page to help them reach their goal of a new emergency vehicle.

STAR has recently worked to get a new tower with grant money that will allow much greater coverage for their radio transmissions. Now the volunteers there are seeking the community’s help so that STAR and its volunteers can help the community with a new and reliable ambulance. 

Can you donate? 

Click here to help.

Photos provided by STAR.

Mendocino Fire Destroys Homes, Fire Engine

Kym Kemp / Sunday, Sept. 14 @ 5:06 p.m. /

UPDATE 6:05 p.m.:  Cal Fire is now saying that all evacuation orders have been lifted. The Black Fire is now at 417 acres with 50% containment. Five structures were burnt and so were five outbuildings. Ten structures are still threatened. There have been three injuries.

Flames burn within the remains of a fire engine. The quick moving blaze overran the vehicle yesterday near Ukiah. [Photos from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Facebook page.]

In addition to five homes burned, according to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department, a fire engine was overrun by flames and destroyed during yesterday’s fast moving wildfire northeast of Ukiah. No one was seriously hurt, a spokesperson on wrote on the Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page. Twenty-five structures are still threatened by the fire which is only 30% contained.

Aerial view of the fire taken earlier today [Photo provided by David Jeffreys.]

The incident is being called the Black Fire. (It started near the Black Bart Trail northeast of Ukiah yesterday a little after 4 p.m.) 

Cal Fire states that “the fire is burning in a mix of grass, brush, oak and pine trees.” The temperatures are high and firefighters are struggling with “high heat, low humidity, with the potential for erratic winds.”

According to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office the only evacuations still in effect is for Hell’s Delight Canyon and a small dirt road off of Black Bart Trail.

The view looking northwest just after the fire raced up and over a ridge yesterday at the intersection of Hell’s Delight Canyon and Black Bart Trail.[Caption from the Mendocino Sheriff’s Office.]


[Kim Sallaway Photos!] Fire Started Close to Redway

Kym Kemp / Sunday, Sept. 14 @ 3:13 p.m. /  Fire!

UPDATE 5:16 p.m.: Resources continue to be sent home. Local photographer Kim Sallaway ventured into the forest to capture these images of what happened: (See more of his work here.)

The fire!

The smoke.

Nearby homeless camp.

More homeless camp.

Burning homeless camp.

Helicopter dropping water.

The pilots are incredibly accurate says photographer Kim Sallaway.

 Inmate crews preparing containment lines.

Our own Diana Totten!

Fire retardant drop.

Ack! Our photographer got doused with fire retardant!

 Another inmate working to build a containment line.

A special shout out to Angelo from the High Rock Inmate Crew who wanted copies of Kim Sallaway’s photos. Thanks to you and your fellow workers, Angelo. We appreciate you and hope you get to see these! Can any correctional officers who read this make sure that Angelo and his mates know we are so thankful for their work.

UPDATE 4:22 p.m.:  According to Kim Sallaway a local photographer who was on scene,Those guys that are dropping water from helicopters are pinpoint accurate. If it wasn’t for them, it was definitely getting big. Our fire guys were right on it.”

Sallaway said he was on the scene of the fire quickly. He and firefighters saw a woman pushing a bicycle who said she had started the fire cooking a special meal for her boyfriend.”

UPDATE 4:09 p.m.: Incident command is stating on scanner that they hope to soon open up one lane to controlled traffic.

UPDATE 3:44 p.m.: Scanner traffic indicates that crews are closing the line around the fire. The dozer is being sent home.

Helicopter carrying a bucket of water. [Photo by Justine Bunda.]


Original post below:

Firefighters race towards the fire in the woods just north of Redway. [Photo provided by Shanda Centeno]

According to George Monroe with the  Southern Humboldt Fire Chiefs Association, a fire started about a half mile north of Redway on the east side of Redwood Drive. Flames are advancing slowly.

Scanner traffic indicates that the incident commander is requesting that Redwood Drive be closed to traffic in that area. 

Air attack is responding from the north.


Two With Major Injuries Following Early Morning Accident

Kym Kemp / Sunday, Sept. 14 @ 7:58 a.m. /

California Highway Patrol press release:

On September 14, 2014, at approximately 0330 hours, Kyle John Wescott, age 19, from Garberville, CA was driving his 1987 BMW eastbound on Grizzly Bluff Road approaching East Ferry Road.  For reasons still under investigation, Mr. Wescott failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway and lost control of his vehicle, which subsequently struck bushes, an unoccupied parked vehicle in a driveway, and an unoccupied house on the southeast corner of the intersection (Grizzly Bluff Road / East Ferry Road).  Mr. Wescott sustained major injuries during the collision. 

The passenger, Zachary Ryan Farroux, age 16, from Scotia, CA was unrestrained and also suffered major injuries during the collision.  Both occupants were transported to Redwood Memorial Hospital for treatment.  Mr. Wescott was subsequently arrested for felony DUI (causing injury to his passenger), but was released to the hospital for medical care.  

The California Highway Patrol - Humboldt Area responded to the scene and is conducting the investigation.  Personnel from the Ferndale Volunteer Fire Department, Ferndale Police Department, CalFire, and City Ambulance also responded to the scene.