Liz Writes Life 9-5-17

Sept. 5, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Sometimes, smoke is so thick, it seems like you could cut it with a knife! Ugh! This is bad. Reminds me of the long-siege of inversion-layer during the massive 1987 fires that were started by over 1,400 dry lightning strikes on Aug. 30th  here in the Klamath National Forest.

On Monday morning, (yesterday) Ray Haupt, our county supervisor, reported the newest updates after being briefed at the Etna Incident Command Center. Yes, Sawyers Bar Road is now closed from Etna Summit down past Forks of Salmon along with an Evacuation Order. I believe the Etna High School will be a shelter-in-place for displaced folks. On Sunday night, there were 16 engines on the Salmon River protecting homes – up the hill from Sawyers Bar town.

Unfortunately, the fire is headed south and down into Mill Creek several miles above Etna. Structure assessment on the Etna side of Salmon Mt. is being done. Mill Creek is the first bridge after the snow gate on Sawyers Bar Rd. at the bottom of the mountain.

Ray had some good news: The north end of the Wallow Fire is being slowed as fire fighters are making good progress building fire line from Crystal Creek through to Kidder Creek protecting homes in the Patterson Ck., Kellems and Kidder Creek areas. Yay!

Ray urges folks to pay attention to fire and police officers and evacuation orders. Be sure to move vehicles and other items out of the way, so fire engines and crews can get access to your property to protect your structures and go on through to protect areas around you. He said CalFire has a good tutorial, on the internet, on how to prepare for evacuation. It is called: Ready For Because he lives in the path of the Wallow Fire, Ray spent his weekend organizing and preparing his property, including moving his camper and boat to a friend’s place.

“Get prepared,” he said.

Today, Tuesday, the USFS is sending an I.C. leadership to update the entire Siskiyou Co. Board of Supervisors at their regular meeting. Remember that three years ago our county supervisors put a Catastrophic Wildland Fire and Fuels Declaration in place and has been actively advocating for fuels reduction.

Logging would do much less damage to the environment and wildlife than these horrific fires. Government agencies and bureaucrats need to stand against the lawsuits of the Enviros as the forests must be managed and thinned for environmental health as well as health and safety for us humans!

A bit more fire info: The Helena Fire, out of Weaverville, has Highway 299 closed. It’s burned 140 structures with 80 of them homes. So very sad! Ray added that due to so many fires throughout the West, and the huge rescue for Hurricane Harvey victims in the Texas Gulf Coast, every Incident Command Team in the nation is engaged. Wow. Too much water and too much fire!

I realize our terrain couldn’t stand more than an inch or two, but it sure would be nice if the continuing rain from Hurricane Harvey in the Texas Gulf Coast could be shared all over the West as fires are raging from L.A. through Montana. Yea, I know – if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.


I was driving by Tyler Farrington’s place two weeks ago and slowed down to look at his garden. He saw me and invited me to see it. Tyler is using raised beds with plastic tubes curved over them. He had clear plastic sheeting covering them this spring, which gave him a good jump on the season. He showed me the most gorgeous purple tomato! And then purple peppers. His wife likes the color purple, so he is hoping to be able to make a purple salsa!

Tyler gave me beets, carrots and several kinds of peppers. One was long, skinny and red, but wasn’t hot at all. It is called a Jimmy Nardello and would be good for mild salsa, which is what I prefer. He had giant purple egg plant, gorgeous Swiss chard, watermelon, cucumbers other things I am forgetting; and onions hanging on posts drying. Nice garden.

So, I finally got the bug to make salsa this week. First batch was mild and so good, but the second was a bit hot. Jack liked it. I think I put in too many minced garlic cloves! Jack may have picked our last batch of green beans on Sunday, when he also dug red potatoes so I could make a potato salad for a family get-together.


Brandon Criss, Dist. 1 Siskiyou Co. Supervisor, spoke at the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting last Thursday. He had just learned and then shared with us that the FBI had arrested two people for trying to bribe our Siskiyou Co. Sheriff. Chi Meng Yang, of Montague, and his sister, Gaosheng Laitinen, of Mt. Shasta Vista, were charged for conspiring to commit bribery of a public official, conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and manufacturing marijuana.

The complaint said that back in May, Yang met with Sheriff Jon Lopey and offered $1 million to the sheriff in exchange for his assistance with an interstate marijuana distribution business that Yang was organizing. Sheriff Lopey contacted FBI and DEA and subsequent meetings with Yang were audio and video recorded by the FBI.

I know that Sheriff Lopey is dead against the illegal marijuana and drug businesses. Sheriff Lopey, thank you for your integrity! Sure do hope the charges stick!

And remember, when the media claims that Siskiyou Co. is “racist” – let people know that Siskiyou elected the first black sheriff in the State of California. It was Charlie Byrd, in 1986, and he was re-elected three more times. Just gripes me no end, when we are accused of being racist.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N and Liz or call her at 530-467-3515.

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