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Crews Making Progress On Northern California Mega Fires

in Environment

Stanislaus County, CA — Containment is growing on a trio of lightning complex fires, two of which have each burned over 350,000 acres.

The SCU Complex Fire is 365,772 acres and 25-percent contained. It is located in the Bay Area and Central Valley. The series of lightning fires, grouped as one incident, is burning throughout the counties of Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, Merced, San Joaquin and Stanislaus.

To the north, the LNU Lightning Complex Fire has burned 357,046 acres and is 33-percent contained. It is burning in the counties of Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Yolo and Solano.

The CZU Lightning Fire, burning in the Santa Cruz mountains and parts of San Mateo County is 79,640 acres and is 19-percent contained.

Continue Reading on My Mother Lode

River fires blamed on arsonist

in Environment

Several fires that scorched about 20 acres scenery along the Tuolumne River near the Mitchell Road bridge was started by an arsonist, said Ceres Fire Chief Kevin Wise.

Chief Wise said that an arsonist started lighting fires on the northeast side of the Mitchell Bridge and continued into Legion Park. Units from Ceres, Hughson, Modesto, Stanislaus Consolidated, Denair and Burbank Paradise worked over the next several hours to contain the fire. Through the local resource sharing agreement, Turlock City Fire Department sent a fire engine and a battalion chief to cover the Ceres station while all of Ceres Fire’s units were out.

“Unfortunately there were no arrests made,” said Dustin Bruley, supervisor of the Stanislaus Fire Investigation Unit. “Our investigators still have it as an open arson investigation. We believe that it was an arson; there were actually four separate fires along the river that were investigated that day. Multiple folks were stopped and field interrogated and unfortunately at this point we don’t have any suspect information.”

Continue Reading on Ceres Courier

Rare corpse lily blooms at Stanislaus State after near 10-year wait

in Environment

TURLOCK, Calif. — After nearly 10 years, the Stanislaus State University greenhouse finally smells of rotting vegetables, and, for biology professors on Tuesday, that was the smell of victory.

A near decade of work went into caring for and raising Stanislaus State's corpse lily, a flower best known for the horrendous odor it spreads when it blooms.

“Me, personally, this is the first one of these I’ve ever seen in bloom in my life," said Michael Fleming, Associate Professor of Biology. "It took me almost 50 years to get to enjoy this.”

The lily in bloom is a rare sight. Fleming says there's likely only eight to 10 blooms in the United States in a given year at university greenhouses or private collections.

Continue Reading on ABC 10

Go Green keeps Turlock recycling

in Environment

With shelter-in-place orders being implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, a seemingly standard act like recycling has become a point of uncertainty with many recycling centers in the area, including Turlock Scavenger, closing their doors as a safety precaution.

For Turlockers with aluminum, glass and plastic piling up at home, there is a recycling option still available in Go Green Recycling Inc., which is currently open to the public.

“Our main goal was to help with the unfortunate. For some of those homeless people this is the only source of income. If they couldn’t recycle these materials, I don’t think they would be in a good position,” owner Fawad Abraham said. “There’s also the issue of sanitation.”

While more than $100 million in California Refund Value payments were claimed in 2018, the billions of CRV eligible containers recycled each year also help eliminate the need for manufactures to use raw materials for new products.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

California’s losing its war on carbon

in Around California/Environment
Cathay Bank Corporate Center's employees charge their electric vehicles in the company's El Monte parking lot on Thursday, April 5, 2018. The bank center has over 30 employees that drive electric vehicles and Southern California Edison installed 17 EV chargers for the employees. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

For the last decade, California has waged a crusade to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases in the name of fighting climate change.

The state has set specific reduction goals, and spent many billions of dollars, in both taxes and added consumer costs, to achieve them.

Early on, we saw sharp reductions, but they were low-hanging fruit, achieved mostly by compelling utilities to replace carbon-based power generation such as coal and natural gas with “renewables,” chiefly wind and solar.

Continue Reading on The Orange County Register

City encouraging residents to live a little ‘greener’

in Environment

Every March as the trees come to life and the grass gets a little greener, the City of Turlock puts an emphasis on making more environmentally conscious choices in daily life. This year, along with educating local students about the benefits of “going green,” the City will offer free bus service for one week in March.

The City will present educational and eco-friendly activities for local students to participate in and learn more about “going green” March 9-13.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

California County Shuts Down Fifth of Water Wells Over PFAS (2)

in Around California/Environment

California wants to slash the allowable levels in drinking water for two “forever chemical” compounds, immediately prompting agencies supplying water to 2.5 million residents in Orange County to remove a fifth of their wells from service.

The State Water Resources Control board Thursday said it planned to dramatically lower its response levels for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), though actual drinking water standards are still years away.

The response levels require water suppliers to install treatment, and remove wells from service if they exceed the thresholds. Notifying customers is required if districts plan to keep wells in service without treatment for an extended period.

Continue Reading on Bloomberg Enviroment

California’s largest private giant sequoia stand saved from development

in Environment

The long-awaited purchase of a vast grove of giant sequoias once targeted for homes and a ski resort has been completed by the San Francisco conservation group Save the Redwoods League, which plans to open trails and eventually make it a federal park.

The league raised $15.65 million to buy the 530-acre Alder Creek Grove, a picturesque hillside forest in Tulare County that includes the 3,000-year-old Stagg Tree — the fifth-largest tree in the world.

Continue Reading on San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco needs to pay the price for desecrating Yosemite National Park

in Environment

Those who are the most politically correct among those that lecture the rest of the state from their perches atop the 40 plus hills of San Francisco about the environmental shortcomings of the rest of California should take a long hard look in the mirror.

They thrive on some of the original — and most hideous — environmental sins ever committed in the Golden State. Topping the laundry list running from filling in the bay to resisting tougher car emission testing for years because the winds cleared out their smog and sent it into the Central Valley is the desecration of a national park.

Continue Reading on Manteca/ Ripon Bulletin

California’s Sonoma wine country reckons with wildfire damage to tourism economy

in Environment/Local Roundup

SONOMA, Calif. — As ash settles from the recent wildfires in one of the world’s most recognizable wine regions, the battle-tested vintners now face another problem – discouraged tourists.

The wildfires in California’s Sonoma County are among the largest and most intense in the state’s history. Fortunately for the wineries, the fires came at the close of the harvest this year and most of the grapes were saved. But that might not matter so much.

“The real damage from the fires isn’t on the harvest, it’s on the economy,” said Rob McMillan, executive vice president and founder of Silicon Valley Bank’s wine division. “From a tourism standpoint, people will choose not to come to the vineyards.”
Continue Reading on CNBC
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