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By Chris Neklason
Published Jun 24, 2024

An image from September 2020 of Lake Tenaya in Yosemite National Park, with sunlight and shadows cast in the wildfire smoke hanging over the lake water. An image from September 2020 of Lake Tenaya in Yosemite National Park, with sunlight and shadows cast in the wildfire smoke hanging over the lake water. Image credit: Chris Neklason contributed

Fire Season Begins with a Roar

A whiff of smoke on the breeze the other day had me thinking back to 2020. 

I was up at our family cabin outside Yosemite that August, and one night watched the most intense thunderstorm of my life take place off to the east over the Sierra. Lightning lit up the sky and thunder crashed and boomed for hours, though little or no rain fell. 

It was the same up and down California, and the next day, the state was on fire.

I was back up at the cabin a month later in September, and the smoke was so thick I donned goggles and an industrial respirator and headed up into the Yosemite high contry in search of breathable air.  After driving a couple hours I found some up in Tuolumne Meadows, and remember hiking to the river and wondering if I should camp out for a few days.

That summer there were so many fires buring in the state, I'd found the best air in California and was loathe to leave.

Since then, more communities have become firewise certified, more homeowners have embraced defensible space, and more funding has been directed toward clearing beetle-killed trees in forests.

Hopefully, this summer won't see the return of the lurid yellow and orange skies of 2020.

7077-fire-smoke.jpg
The author in September 2020 on a quest for clean air.


Summer Has Arrived

Summer arrived this year on June 20, but fire season got here first with the ignition of the Corral Fire south of Tracy in San Joaquin County on June 1. Now 100% contained, the fire burned over 14,000 acres of grasslands and led to evacuations of some neighborhoods.

As I write this, there are several other fires burning in the state and experts are forecasting more to come until it rains. 

It's not too late to prepare for fire season, and this issue of The Newsletter features a couple of articles to help.


Give Your Home a Fighting Chance in a Wildfire

Many of Robert Kerbeck’s neighbors in Malibu Park lost their homes in the 2018 Woolsey Fire, which left behind lots where only chimneys still stood.
California wildfires are becoming larger, more frequent and more ferocious. ‘Malibu Burning’ author Robert Kerbeck shares simple steps you can take to protect your home.

On the Lookout for California Wildfires

Hundreds of Internet-connected cameras  provide a birds eye view of California.
The UC San Diego-managed ALERTCalifornia network of mountaintop cameras act as remote eyes for fire fighters, and the public.


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Placer County's Homepage

Direct your browser to https://placer.californialocal.com/ to catch up on the latest news in California and Placer County. Bookmark the link and visit often, there's a lot happening in your community!


Recipe of the Week

Our friends at Sacramento Digs Gardening publish a recipe from their gardens every Sunday, which we feature here so you can start your week with some yum.

See more recipes in their Taste Summer! cookbook.


Cobble together plums and cherries for a summer treat

Cherries and plums are botanical cousins, so pair beautifully in an early summer cobbler.
New! Easy fruit creation's worth a little oven time


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Get to Know a Group

California Republic Water Polo Club logo California Republic Water Polo Club

California Republic Water Polo Club’s mission is to support and promote the sport of water polo in the community. The organization offers educational opportunities for youth athletes.

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From Our Media Allies

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Auburn Journal logo Free During Summer? Acres of Hope Seeks Volunteers

With kids out of school for the summer, Acres of Hope, a nonprofit organization that focuses on helping women and children break the cycles of homelessness and trauma, is seeking volunteers to help in its children’s center.

Auburn Journal logo Auburn Partners With Area Transit to Plan for Future

In a coordinated effort to plan for the future of transit in western Placer County, the city of Auburn has teamed up with the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency and Roseville Transit to draft a regional transit analysis.

Auburn Journal logo Placer County Reveals Potential Vision for Marketplace Space in North Auburn

Building on the county’s Government Center Master Plan, the county utilized Community Development Block Grant funds to create potential future plans for private development opportunities for housing and an indoor/outdoor marketplace that aims to celebrate Placer County’s home-grown goods and …

Sierra Sun logo Donkey Town and El Burro Trails to Close for Cabin Creek Forest Restoration Project

According to the Truckee Dirt Union the Donkey Town and El Burro trail closures are expected to begin as early as next week, and will remain closed for the remainder of 2024.

Folsom Telegraph logo Folsom Assemblyman Pushes for Accountability on Homeless Spending

A Folsom Assemblyman is pushing legislation that calls for more transparency on how the state is spending money on homelessness. The bill is in response to a state audit report which revealed the state spent $24 billion on homelessness, yet …

Auburn Journal logo Good-Paying Jobs, Changing Industry Needs Are Topics of First Workforce Summit at Sierra College

An ever-changing economy, hard-to-fill jobs, new technologies and preparing people to get good-paying jobs were the topics of a first-of-its-kind workforce summit held at Sierra College in Rocklin on June 18.

Loomis News logo Invasive Mosquito Species Located in Roseville, Rocklin

The Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District recently reported the invasive Aedes aegypti mosquitoes have been detected in two Roseville and Rocklin neighborhoods.

Sierra Sun logo Lahontan Community Foundation Awards 25 Grants

The Lahontan Community Foundation recently awarded 25 local non-prof-its grants totaling $247,319.

Sierra Sun logo Truckee North Tahoe Regional Adult Education Program Secured Through Placer School for Adult Partnership

The Tahoe Truckee Unified School District has partnered with Placer School for Adults to ensure continued adult education programming for the Truckee North Tahoe Community.

Auburn Journal logo CAL FIRE Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit Suspends Burn Permits

CalFire has suspended all burn permits for outdoor residential burning within the State Responsibility Area of Nevada, Yuba, Placer and Sierra counties and bans all residential outdoor
burning of landscape debris such as branches and leaves.

Auburn Journal logo Auburn Declares Fiscal Emergency in Face of Ongoing Budget Deficit

The Auburn City Council voted to declare a fiscal emergency and cancel all salary increases in their June 17 meeting, as the city faces an ongoing $825,000 annual budget deficit.

Auburn Journal logo Colfax Approves Skate Park Agreement With Placer County

In their June 12 meeting, the Colfax City Council approved moving forward with an agreement with Placer County for a proposed skate park project.

Folsom Telegraph logo 'Big Boy,' World's Largest Operating Steam Locomotive, Rolls Through Placer

The Placer-Sierra Railroad Heritage Society meeting on Tuesday, June 25, will feature Paul Greenfield discussing the visit of the “Big Boy” to the Sacramento area.

Tahoe Guide logo Sierra State Parks Foundation Celebrates 50 Years

The Sierra State Parks Foundation was born when a group led by local women of the North Shore of Lake Tahoe, persuaded the Department of Parks and Recreation to scrap its plans for razing the 1903 Ehrman Mansion after it …

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Recent Statewide News

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• What You Need to Know About the California Budget Deal

Gov. Newsom and legislative leaders announce an agreement to bridge the state budget deficit by dipping into reserves and reducing some spending. The deal also calls for a bill in August to set aside more money and a 2026 constitutional amendment to grow the state’s rainy day fund.

(06/22/2024) → CalMatters

• 90,000 Acres Burned So Far

Before the first official day of summer, almost 90,000 acres have been burned in California wildfires.

(06/21/2024) → Los Angeles Times

• YIMBYs Endorse California Forever

On June 19, California YIMBY announced support for the California Forever project going to the Solano County ballot in November.

(06/20/2024) → The Mercury News

• Still Need Your Landline? California Regulators Just Stopped AT&T From Pulling the Plug

The California Public Utilities Commission rejected the telecom’s bid to stop providing service in many parts of the state.

(06/20/2024) → CalMatters

• Environmental Groups Appeal Sites Reservoir Ruling

A new round of litigation began when environmental groups opposed to the Sites reservoir in Colusa County filed an appeal on a ruling which dismissed their suit seeking to halt the project from proceeding.

(06/18/2024) → The Mercury News

• These Cities Have a New Tactic to Evade California Housing Laws. Legal Experts Are Dubious

A recent court ruling exempted five charter cities from a controversial housing law. That’s given anti-density advocates across California an idea.

(06/17/2024) → CalMatters

• Active Fire Season Forecasted

With multiple fires already burning in the state, forecasters predict the coming fire season will be "very active."

(06/17/2024) → Los Angeles Times

• In Rain, Snow and Drought, California’s Fights Over Water Rights, Supplies Persist

Legal rights to use water — particularly those obtained prior to 1914 — lie at the heart of California’s perpetual wrangling over the allocation of increasingly limited water supplies.

(06/17/2024) → CalMatters
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Government Announcements

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Image of County of Placer seal. County of Placer   (06/21/2024)

Eagle Scout candidate beautifies Rocklin Library grounds with landscaping project

Rocklin Eagle Scout candidate Samantha Springer recently completed a landscaping project to spruce up the Rocklin Library. The 13-year-old gathered donations and worked with 67 people who dedicated a combined 259 hours to the project
Image of United States seal. United States   (06/21/2024)

Vitakraft Sun Seed Recall of Sun Seed Vita Prima Hedgehog Food Due to Possible Salmonella Health Risk

Vitakraft Sun Seed Inc. of Weston, OH, is voluntarily recalling one lot of Sun Seed Vita Prima Hedgehog Food because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is also a risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products,
Image of County of Placer seal. County of Placer   (06/20/2024)

New community health report highlights areas where Placer shines, could improve

What are the top five health issues in Placer County? Even as we continue to rank among the healthiest counties in California, Public Healths newly-released 2023 Community Health Assessment explores ongoing challenges.
Image of County of Placer seal. County of Placer   (06/19/2024)

Watch: Formerly homeless family moves into renovated apartments

Meranda and her son are among the families moving into the Sun Rose Apartments in Roseville over the next few weeks, with the first phase of renovations complete. Sun Rose, formerly a hotel, is the largest recent addition of permanent supportive housing.
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (06/19/2024)

Joe Patterson CA Assembly 05:
Substance Abuse Treatment Center Response to County Supervisors

Image of State of California seal. State of California   (06/19/2024)

Joe Patterson CA Assembly 05:
Sexually Violent Predator Transient Release Concerns

Image of State of California seal. State of California   (06/19/2024)

Joe Patterson CA Assembly 05:
Disability Healthcare & Housing Support

Image of State of California seal. State of California   (06/19/2024)

Joe Patterson CA Assembly 05:
CalTrans Information Request

Image of State of California seal. State of California   (06/19/2024)

Joe Patterson CA Assembly 05:
Assemblyman Joe Patterson guest editorial: Tell Sacramento to stop playing games with public safety

Image of City of Lincoln seal. City of Lincoln   (06/19/2024)

High-Efficiency Appliance Rebates Available Now

Have you recently purchased a high-efficiency toilet or washing machine? You may be eligible for a refund. See the City of Lincoln's Water department webpage for more information.