More Lightning Wednesday Evening in Siskiyou County

YREKA, CA—In Siskiyou County, more lightning occurred on Wednesday, July 11, as about 118 more down strikes hit the forest. Luckily, some rainfall came with this lightning storm. Overall, about 55 fires were started by storms this week, with approximately 32 of the fires active as of Thursday morning. The other 23 fires have been either contained or controlled. Most of the fires are less than 10 acres in size; however, some fires are just now being looked at due to their extremely remote and rugged locations.

As of Thursday, July 12th, the Klamath National Forest formed the Elk Complex in the Happy Camp Ranger District that has a number of the lightning-caused fires close to private property, as well as many others scattered throughout the district. A Type II Incident Management Team, with Kent Swartzlander as Incident Commander, is taking over management of the Elk Complex starting at 6:00 pm tonight. Three of the known fires within that complex are causing some concern (the Elk Fire, about 10 acres; the King Creek #2, about 40 acres; and the Tom Martin, about 10 acres). The Tom Martin Fire is about one and a half-miles south of the small town of Hamburg along Highway 96. No structures are threatened at this time, and an air tanker is being used to help the firefighters on the ground.

The Oak Knoll Ranger District has five confirmed fires, with three of them controlled. Of the two active fires, the China Fire is one mile north of China Peak, and is using an air tanker to help firefighters tackle this blaze. It is currently about 10 acres in size. Smoke from this fire may be seen from the Yreka and Fort Jones area, as well as from along Highway 96 near the town of Klamath River.

The Scott River Ranger District has seven fires in total, with five of them staffed at this time. Two of the fires are within or near the eastern edge of the Marble Mountain Wilderness. The Back and Sky Fires are about 10 and 25 acres in size, respectively. Heavy fuels and extensive mop-up are the concerns for these fires.

As of the morning of Thursday, July 12th, about 16 fires have been reported on the State Responsibility Areas protected by California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE); the largest is about 10 acres in size. All of these fires are contained.

The CAL FIRE information line is now available at (530) 842-2266. This number will have information on the fires managed by the Forest Service and CAL FIRE in the county, and will be updated as the situations change.

Happy Camp Future To Be Discussed At Meeting July 16

There will be a meeting of the Happy Camp Community Collaboration Project on Monday, July 16 at 5pm. This will take place at the USFS Conference Room. Enter via the back door. There may be a change due to the current fire situation, so phone Nadine McElyea at the Family Resource Center, 493-5117 to see if the location changes.

According to McElyea, “Discussion items include the expenditure of some remaining funds from the first half of our planning grant; the need to submit a request for the second part; and some planning around small projects that can positively impact and improve our community, as well as some brainstorming for the future.”

All Happy Camp residents are welcome and encouraged to attend, especially if they are interested in the future of Happy Camp.

Lightning Sparks Fires in Siskiyou County

YREKA, CA—Lightning filled the sky over most of Siskiyou County on Tuesday, July 10, and employees of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) and the Klamath National Forest (KNF) are busy working on the fires that started from over 1,200 down strikes from the storm.

As of the morning of Wednesday, July 11th, about nine fires have been reported on the State Responsibility Areas protected by CAL FIRE; the largest is about 10 acres in size. Six of these fires are contained. On the KNF-managed lands, about 30 fires have been reported, with most being less than one acre in size. There are about two fires over 20 acres in size. Many of the fires have firefighters walking in to staff the fires, and smoke jumpers have been ordered for the larger fires.

“It’s a dry year, and though we received rain on some of the forest, it wasn’t enough to stop any of the larger fires from spreading.” said Patty Grantham, Deputy Forest Supervisor for the KNF.

Reconnaissance flights are in progress this morning, and more fires may be found once the day warms. More lightning is predicted for today with increased precipitation.

As a reminder, CAL FIRE suspended dooryard burning permits as of July 1st. Though fire restrictions for the KNF are not in place yet, forest vegetation is very dry. All who are in the forest are asked to be extremely careful with fire.

The CAL FIRE information line is now available at (530) 842-2266. This number will have information on the fires managed by the Forest Service and CAL FIRE in the county, and will be updated as the situations change.

Source: Forest Service Press Release

Teacher’s Learning about Karuk Culture

One very special item that Jennifer Goodwin and Erin Hillman shared with teachers this week was the creation of regalia for a girl to dance in ceremonies this weekend. It took many hours of work over weeks to sew and decorate the skin skirts with fringes, shells, beads albalone, deertoes, and braided bear grass but it was beautiful and made a pleasant sound as it moved around. The design on the top was “friendship design.” The skirts were made by grant of $5,000 and worn by Frankie Snyder in her first ceremonial dance. 

 The Karuk Tribe of California Education Program Director, Jennifer Goodwin, arranged an exciting opportunity for teachers in the area schools learn more about the cultural background of the students in their classes. Not only were teachers from Happy Camp Elementary and High Schools but Jefferson Continutation school and Junction School from Somes Bar. It was a pleasure to have Tom Fox of the Northern California Writing Project and transferring soon to the the National Writing Project share current resources for teaching writing.

 A panel was assembled to answer all the questions that the teachers cared to ask about the Karuk culture, past and present. Jennifer and Erin shared the regalia project. Dan Goodwin, tonyu, Blanche, Bud Johnson,  of fisheries, Paula McCarthy, Clayton Tuttle, Ben Harrison and Phinuggtuuf took part in the panel. The brush dance was traditionally done at the home of a sick child for healing and although it is still done for healing, it is done on a regular basis for good health and prosperity to preserve the tradition. There isn’t alot of “pow wow” dancing here but war dancing was mentioned. Community is always open to watch and usually food for all. It’s a way of balancing, a way of living, they said. Because the Karuk never had a reservation each family had their own place that they lived from Bluff Creek to Seiad Valley. When the gold rush intruded into this place, the government wanted to ship them all out to Hoopa, not realizing there was differences between Hoopa Tribe, Yurok Tribe and Karuk Tribe who didn’t speak the same language at all.  The Yurok were “downriver “people and the Karuk “upriver people.” Paula McCarthy siad her mom was sent to Indian School in Riverside and Native Americans there were punished for speaking their native languages. The Karuk Tribe of California started with 10 or 12 acres donated to the Tribe in Orleans and has purchased and developed nearly 600 acress in Orleans, Witchepec, Happy Camp and Yreka since being recognized.  Verna shared how she learned basketweaving from Grace and Madeline Davis and they wanted her to “pass it on.” Kenneth Brink said, “Red devils, blue devils or dust devils”, the Putawan is a devil, but “not so scarry anymore.” The mascot of the Happy Camp Elementary School has been the Putawan for many years. So the teachers learned many new things from the panel on the Karuk culture and hopes are to share further in the future. 

 Besides delving into discussions on “What connections there are or could be between writing in school and writing in real life in Happy Camp,” there were opportunities to talk to tribal members about their culture and Tribal employees about how they use writing in their employment, working with language as Susan Gehr, writing grants like   or writing lessons to teach. reports, minutes, agenda’s and articles.  

New Events Calendar!

By Linda Martin

Judy Bushy has been busy putting together a new events calendar for Happy Camp News. The new calendar is interactive and you can add events that are important to you or any community groups you belong to. You can add your birthday or your anniversary, all types of public meetings, and special events. All new additions to the events calendar will be approved by the editor before they appear in the public access calendar.

Please do not add yard sales or business-related events. They can be advertised in Classified Ads. We’re getting a new program to make Classified Ads interactive and easier to access. Another announcement will be posted when that feature is ready.

Greyback is open for 2007

By Judy Bushy

Page Mountain Snow Park on Grayback Road in Oregon.

When you talk about “Over the Hill” in Happy Camp, it has nothing to do with anyone’s age! Ever since prospectors found gold here back in the good old days of the previous century, people have been mining north of Happy Camp in places like Indian Town, Waldo, O’Brien, and other little places that have disappeared.

If the Oregon tax collector came to visit, they announced that they were citizens of California. If the California revenue man came by, they announced that they were Oregon residents. Even before that, the Karuk Tribe headed over the hill to trade with tribes in Illinois Valley. Greyback Road has been the center of our double-minded residency ever since.

Driving over the hill is a fantastic route with rare Brewer Spruce and Port Orford Cedar trees. At the top of the hill is a side road off to the Tanner and Bolan Lakes. Bolan Lake was the site of a popular prospecting place that had a bowling alley in the tavern about the same time that Indian Town was prospering. Nowadays they are popular hiking, fishing and camping retreats for the backpacker.

The Page Mountain Snow Park, at the top of the mountain, is on the Oregon side and blocked to us in the winter, but that doesn’t deter enjoying the summer and fall pleasures of hiking and exploring there.

‘Over the Hill’ is a popular path to take whether you go to the Taylor Sausage spot for Saturday night music, stop by Dairy Queen or prefer the Chinese menu at the Golden Dragon Gate. It used to be that there was an outdoor drive-in theater but since the days of home video entertainment, that closed. There is a wild animal cat park that is well worth a visit.

Cave Junction has always been the gateway to the Oregon Caves National Monument. Well, since they will celebrate the hundred-year anniversary in the next couple of years, it has been a long time. Oh, for an expert to teach us spelunking. But barring that, Oregon Cave tours are fascinating.

The Selma Farmer’s Market, the Kirby Historical Museum, burl and wood carving shops, are all good reasons to get out to Oregon.

If you live in Happy Camp, there is no way to go anywhere else, unless you drive Highway 96. You can drive 75 miles to the east of Happy Camp and come to Yreka, and I-5 freeway. You can drive west on Highway 96 to Willow Creek. Once you get to Willow Creek another little drive, total of 120 miles, and you’ll be in Arcata on the way to Eureka and ocean beaches.

Sometimes the Klamath River floods and we can’t get out to Yreka. Sometimes there are rock or mudslides down the mountain and we can’t get out to Willow Creek. All winter long another road, up over Greyback into Oregon that meets with Hwy 199, is closed by snow. But in the summer, that scenic route is one of the favorite routes and the only way out of Happy Camp if you don’t take Hwy 96.

The cabin at Page Mountain Snow Park

State of Jefferson Scenic Byway - Grayback Road

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