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Panther Fire News and Updates on other pages

August 12, 2008

Happy Camp is clear and it is a beautiful day. This summer has been a very smokey one and we really appreciate the blue sky above. Our appreciation for the firefighters, and sorrow at the loss of so many brave firefighters this season has been deeply felt. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these firefighters.

The Panther fire still burns fifteen miles south of Happy Camp and as of today has consumed 21,018 acres. It was started by lightening. Yesterday crews made good progress on establishing fire line in the Bishop Creek area on the north east portion of the fire. Mop-up and monitoring continued on the south boundary of the fire. Last night crews patrolled and held existing line and continued to mop up on the south and south west perimeter while watching for rolling debris on Highway 96. The fire continues to burn slowly into the Marble Mountain Wilderness where it is expected to die out due to existing, natural barriers and sparse vegetation. Efforts to steer the Panther fire into the areas consumed by the King Creek (2007) and Titus (2006 & 2007) fires helped stop the spread of the Panther Fire to the north and east.

Command of the Panther Fire was transferred to Rich Harvey’s Great Basin Type 2 Team this morning. Today work will be focused on improving the line established to contain fire in the Bishop Creek area and to continue mop up there and on the south and south west perimeter.

Bigfoot Jamboree is just around the corner, August 29-31st this year. There will be balloons and clowns and lots of fun for everyone!! Raingutter Regatta for Cub Scout sailboats before Friday’s Coronation of the Queens and the youth dance!!

Update on the children’s page: Scouting Campout Full of Surprises!

Update on the Community Page:12th Annual Karuk Reunion

Thank you to our faithful readership for your patience during technical difficulties which prevented getting news of the Happy Camp Community in a timely manner as we wished. It is a beautiful day along the wild Klamath River and we celebrate summer!




140 Years for Happy Camp Post Office & Scott Valley Bank

March 25, 2008

Skip Davis, Linda Kufner at Anniversary

Photos by Dan Bushy

Wednesday was a big celebration in Happy Camp. Both the Happy Camp Post office and the Happy Camp Branch of the Scott Valley Bank were celebrating 150-year anniversaries.

Did you see the man in bowler hat and old-fashioned banker attire? It was the Scott Valley Bank founder, A. B. Carlock. One hundred and fifty years ago that financial institution began and is still serving our Siskiyou County residents today. The Scott Valley bank has been in Happy Camp for forty-one years also! Just ask one of the old timers about the bank robbery where the robbers escaped a few years ago.

The celebration was held at the Happy Camp Post office on Davis Road next to the New 49′ers building. There was canopy protection from the rain and many residents of the area stopped by for delicious hamburgers.

Back when Henry Doolittle was appointed postmaster in March 19, 1858 Happy Camp was in Del Norte County. (The boundaries were redrawn to put us in Siskiyou County in 1889) Recent postmasters Lucinda Sturdevant (4/01/2006) Pauline Attebery (officially 6/12/1971) Jay Clark (2/17/1996) who enlivened parades as a long-legged Uncle Sam, and Linda Kufner (12/19/95) were present to celebrate the 150th anniversary.

The Post Office and bank have given many years of service to this community on the Klamath River corridor. Makes us feel as if we have some ties with civilization out there!




Tragedy in Happy Camp

July 28, 2007

By Judy Bushy

People of Happy Camp and the surrounding area faced several fatalities in the past few days. A Forest Service contracted helicopter making a delivery to fire lines crashed. The victim of the helicopter crash has been identified as Dennis Luster Davis, 61, of Boise ID. Davis was a pilot for Idaho Helicopters and flew a Bell 205, type 2 helicopter, tail number 205BR.

Now, two food service workers who were employed at fire camp have also drowned in the Klamath River. They went swimming at Clear Creek.

Clear Creek is a popular swimming hole, but local families swim upstream in the creek, as you may see depicted on the mural on the side of Parry’s Market on Davis Road. The Karuk people have an ancient legend that a giant black snake who lives in a cave down at Ishi Pishi falls comes and will pull under a swimmer in the Klamath River. Perhaps that account explains the current that can sweep away an unsuspecting swimmer in the stream of the Klamath River. The worst thing a person can do is exhaust himself in fighting the current, Perhaps we take too lightly the danger of water sports.

A second swimmer’s body has now been located – Richard Pearson, Jr. 31; the body of George Barbis, 35, was recovered from the Klamath River earlier. Our sympathy and condolences go out to the families.

Closer to home, a Happy Camp resident, Harriet Merkler, was fatally injured in a roll-over accident on Highway 96 a few miles east of Happy Camp. Her husband, George, 81, was flown to medical care, but survived. Two minors in the car were not seriously injured.

To all the friends and family we wish to express our sympathy and condolences. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this sorrow.

Update:

At dawn, July 28, 2007, community members and fellow firefighters gathered at the Happy Camp River Park to remember and honor nine firefighters and camp employees who lost their lives over the past twenty years on the Happy Camp Ranger District. Approximately 1,100 of participants honored the fallen during an early morning sunrise ceremony.. July 28th is significant as it is the fifth anniversary of three Lassen National Forest Firefighters who lost their lives on the Stanza Fire in 2002.

The remembrance included presentations from the Forest Service Honor Guard, including a CALFIRE bag piper, and a Karuk prayer. Comments were presented by Klamath National Forest Supervisor Peg Boland and Happy Camp District Ranger Alan Vandiver, as well as friends and co-workers of those who have passed. Pastor Bill Estes from the Happy Camp Assembly of God offered an invocation, followed by inspirational thoughts from Elk Complex Incident Commander Mike Dietrich. The Honor Guard performed a ceremonial ‘Last Alarm’, five bell rings sounded three times, as has been the tradition for over 100 years. A Forest Service bagpiper concluded the remembrance with a rendition of Amazing Grace.

Fire camp employees George Barbis and Richard Pearson, Jr., under contract to the Forest Service, were lost in an off-duty drowning accident in the Klamath River. George and Richard had also been workers with Teen Challenge.

In August of 2006, Pilots Andrei Pantchenko and Terry ‘Jake’ Jacobs perished following the crash of their helicopter into the Klamath River. During the 2002 Stanza Fire, Firefighters Heather DePaolo, John Self and Steven Oustad died after their fire engine left the roadway and traveled 1,200 feet downhill in a tragic accident. During the 1987 Slater Fire, San Bernardino National Forest Firefighter Bruce Visser was killed after being struck by a motorcycle while performing structure protection duties.

A significant number of firefighters remained on the fireline during the remembrance to ensure that Elk Complex fires did not escape their current containment efforts




Stanza Fire – Some Very Good News

August 2, 2002

Both survivors of the Stanza Fire accident have been released from Mercy Hospital in Redding. Alex Glover, 19, went home on July 29. Ryan Smith, 20, whose injuries were more severe, went home on August 2.

Please pray for their continued recovery.




Memorial Service Honors Three Firefighters

July 30, 2002

Several hundred firefighters and family members of the firefighters killed in Sunday morning’s Stanza Fire accident gathered at the local elementary school’s ballpark for a memorial service at sunset. The service was done according to forest service tradition with candles replaced by glowsticks held aloft in honor of Heather DePaolo, John Self and Steven Oustad.

Heather’s brother and best-friend, Jeremey DePaolo, attended and shared words about her love for the Forest Service. He said she had two bachelors degrees and could have done anything, but chose to work on fire management and loved her Forest Service family. Also attending were her fiancé, a native Karuk, and his mother. Other family members were unable to attend, but were remembered in word, thought and prayer.

Gary Lake spoke on behalf of the Karuk Tribe, honoring the firefighters who died while trying to protect Karuk ancestral lands. He offered Karuk tribal flags as tribute to the families of the firefighters.

The Twenty Third Psalm was read, followed by the traditional lone bagpiper playing Amazing Grace. The American flag was raised, then lowed to half-mast. Holding glowsticks aloft, there was a moment of silence followed by the procession of the bereaved to place their glowsticks at the foot of the flagpole.




Tragic Accident at the Stanza Fire

July 29, 2002

Stanza Fire Map

Our condolences to family and friends of the three firefighters killed while working on the Stanza Fire Sunday morning. The fire, ten miles south of Happy Camp, has been burning out of control for nearly a week in an area near Sulphur Springs. It has grown to over 1300 acres due to the difficulty of fighting it in steep, rough terrain.

The accident occurred at about 1:30 Sunday morning when a Forest Service water tender rolled off the road and down a steep 800′ embankment. There were two survivors, both from Northern California.

Those killed were John Self, 19, of Susanville; Heather DePaolo, 29, of Redding, and Steven Oustad, 51, of Westwood.









Klamath River Resort Inn
Klamath River Resort Inn






Indian Creek

Indian Creek, downstream from the Eddy.


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Happy Camp River Access Buck

A buck at the Happy Camp River Access.


Elk Creek Bridge

The Elk Creek Bridge.


Klamath River

Downriver, about four miles.