Stay dry, safe, and visible, as you ‘Trick or Treat’ tonight

Forecasters say today’s rain in Washington should ease by the time Halloween trick-or-treaters hit the streets but there’s still a chance of showers.

While drivers should watch for ghosts and goblins on city streets and sidewalks tonight, Grays Harbor County Sheriff Rick Scott reminds parents to keep the kids well lit “Overall be safe, I mean our biggest fear on Halloween is car [vs.] pedestrian accidents. If you’re out driving around tonight watch for the little ones, if you’re trick or treating with the little ones make sure everybody is safe.”

You might want to add some padding to their costumes tonight too, the Weather Service says it will be cool, with temperatures likely in the 40s on both sides of the state.

 

High wind warning issued, Grays Harbor Emergency Management warns clam diggers

CLAM DIG ALERT – HIGH WIND WARNING ISSUED

The National Weather Service in Seattle has issued a HIGH WIND WARNING for much of Western Washington, including Grays Harbor County from 5pm Saturday afternoon to 11pm Saturday evening.

Some Affected Locations, Westport, Aberdeen, Hoquiam and Montesano.

*** CLAM DIG ALERT ***

*** DO NOT TURN YOUR BACK TO THE SEA. ***

LOW TIDE IS EXPECTED @ 8:22 PM SATURDAY EVENING. LOW TIDE WILL OCCUR DURING THE MOST VOLITILE PART OF THE STORM IMPACTING THE COASTAL REGION. CLAM DIGGERS NEED TO BE ALERT FOR WAVES SWEEPING UP THE BEACHES FARTHER THAN USUAL DUE TO HIGH WIND AND STORM SURGE CONDITIONS.  WAVES WILL BE STRONG ENOUGH TO SWEEP A PERSON, PET OR CHILD OUT TO SEA.

The wind will begin from the South 15 to 25 mph this afternoon, switching to West or Northwest 25 to 40 MPH with to Gusts to 60 mph along the coastal regions. Strong gusts may continue into the early morning hours on Sunday. These are the highest forecast wind gusts so far this year.

Winds this strong can snap small tree branches topple small or shallow rooted trees, and cause local power outages.

A High Wind Warning Means That a Hazardous Wind Event is Imminent or Occurring.

Also associated with this storm may be thunderstorms with heavy rain. Minor flooding could occur in low lying areas as well as create major puddling on highways and streets making driving extremely hazardous, especially at night.

Grays Harbor County Emergency Management is urging all residents to prepare for the severe weather that has been forecast. When the strong winds and rain arrive, power outages are likely to occur. Do not approach fallen trees, branches or power lines. Check your generators. Do not use generators indoors. Do not refuel portable space heaters indoors. Never use your oven or barbeque grill to heat your home. Grays Harbor County Emergency Management will continue to monitor the forecast with the National Weather Service.

Remember to call 911 ONLY in a true emergency. During severe weather events, 911 receives a high increase of calls. Please do not call 911 to receive weather updates or for road conditions. You can receive the most up to date information from Grays Harbor County Emergency Management on Facebook, Twitter and on the Grays Harbor County Emergency Management Website at http://www.co.grays-harbor.wa.us/info/DEM/Index.asp

 

Flood Watch issued for Western Washington

The National Weather Service in Seattle has issued a Flood Watch to include portions of Western Washington including Grays Harbor County from late tonight through Wednesday afternoon.

The Grays Harbor County Emergency Management Agency reports  heavy rainfall amounts of 5 to 8 inches are possible tonight into early Wednesday along the Southwestern and Western Olympics. This amount of rainfall could cause the Quinault, Clearwater, Bogachiel, Hoh, and other rivers flowing off the Olympics to flood late tonight Into Wednesday.

A Flood Watch means conditions are favorable for flooding but flooding is NOT imminent or occurring.

Week-long razor clam dig approved for late October

OLYMPIA – State fishery managers have approved a week-long razor clam dig beginning Oct. 22 on evening tides at various beaches.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the seven-day dig after marine toxin test results showed the clams on those beaches are safe to eat. No digging will be allowed before noon on those days.

Dan Ayres, WDFW shellfish manager, reminds diggers they’re required to keep the first 15 clams they dig under state law. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.

“Most diggers were able to harvest their 15-clam daily limit fairly easily during the season opener earlier this month, except for one evening when some rough weather blew in,” Ayres said. “Some diggers noticed smaller clams at a few beaches, but those clams are growing quickly.”

Digging days and evening low tides during the upcoming opening are:

  • Oct. 22, Wednesday; 6:31 p.m., 0.3 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Oct. 23, Thursday; 7:07 p.m., -0.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Oct. 24, Friday; 7:44 p.m., -0.4 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 25, Saturday; 8:22 p.m., -0.6 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Copalis
  • Oct. 26, Sunday; 9:03 p.m., -0.6 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 27, Monday; 9:47 p.m., -0.4 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Oct. 28, Tuesday; 10:36 p.m., -0.2 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors

The best results typically occur one to two hours before low tide, Ayres said.

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2014-15 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW’s website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov and from license vendors around the state.

Looking ahead to next month, WDFW will announce the final word on a tentative dig to begin Nov. 4 after marine toxin tests have been completed. That dig is tentatively scheduled on the following dates, beaches and low tides:

  • Nov. 4, Tuesday; 4:26 p.m., -0.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 5, Wednesday; 5:14 p.m., -0.7 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 6, Thursday; 5:59 p.m., -1.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 7, Friday; 6:42 p.m., -1.2 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 8, Saturday; 7:24 p.m., -1.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Copalis
  • Nov. 9, Sunday; 8:05 p.m., -0.7 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 10, Monday; 8:47 p.m., -0.3 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 11, Tuesday; 9:31 p.m., 0.2 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors

Comprehensive information about razor clams – from updates on tentative digs to how-to advice on digging and cooking – is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/ .

Process to move Chalet in Olympic National Park begins, Enchanted Valley closed to camping September 1-14

The complicated process of moving a historic two-story building about 50 feet begins today, complicated because the Enchanted Valley Chalet in the Olympic National Park is 13 miles from any developed roads.
Jeff Monroe of Monroe House Moving tells us crews and pack mules are hiking in Wednesday, lifting on Saturday and should start moving late Saturday or first thing Sunday. Helicopter flys on Thursday and Friday weather permitting.
The Parks Service has closed the Enchanted Valley to camping for the first two weeks of September to accommodate crews working in the park.

Monroe House Moving, Inc. of Sequim, Washington has been awarded the contract to move the building.  The contractor plans to complete the relocation operation by mid-September, weather permitting. 

To protect contractor and visitor safety, Enchanted Valley will be closed to all public camping for the duration of the project, September 1 through 14.  

Hikers and stock users may continue to travel through the valley, but between September 1 and September 14, must be escorted by park staff.  The camping closure and escort-only hiking restriction extends from the steel bridge at the downstream end of Enchanted Valley (mile 13 on the East Fork Quinault River Trail) to one mile upriver of the chalet. 

The Graves Creek Stock Camp (located near the Graves Creek trailhead) will also be closed between September 1 and 14 to accommodate stock animals and handlers involved in transporting supplies and equipment during the project. 

“Visitor, employee and contractor safety is our top priority,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum.  “Moving a two-story structure is inherently risky. We appreciate the public’s patience and cooperation during the process of relocating the chalet.” 

Using industry standard house-moving techniques, the contractor will move the Enchanted Valley Chalet a distance of 50 to 100 feet from its current location where it is undercut and in danger of collapsing into the East Fork Quinault River.  The threats to natural and wilderness resources posed by the structure collapsing into the river warrant temporary relocation of the building.  Additionally, preventing the chalet from imminent collapse will allow time to examine and plan for the long-term future of the structure. 

The chalet relocation project was examined in the “Emergency Action to Temporarily Relocate the Enchanted Valley Chalet for the Protection of the East Fork Quinault River Environmental Assessment” (EA) and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was issued on July 25. 

The National Park Service is charged with protecting all of Olympic National Park’s priceless resources, from historic structures to fish, to the unique and irreplaceable character of the Olympic Wilderness. 

The Enchanted Valley Chalet is located 13 miles from the nearest road, deep within the Olympic Wilderness.  The chalet was constructed by Quinault Valley residents in the early 1930s, prior to establishment of Olympic National Park.  The chalet served for several decades as a backcountry lodge and more recently, as a wilderness ranger station and emergency shelter.  The chalet was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.    

Photos shared by park visitors in early January showed that the main channel of the East Fork Quinault River had migrated to within 18 inches of the 1930s-era chalet.  Last winter’s storms and high flows resulted in the Quinault’s main channel continuing to shift by at least 15 feet.   Recent photographs show that the river has undercut the building by approximately eight feet.  

Migration of the East Fork Quinault’s channel is common in the loose, unconsolidated soils of Enchanted Valley.  Storms, fallen trees, rockslides and simply the constant process of erosion can all cause the river to shift and carve a new channel. 

The EA and the FONSI, along with other supporting documents, are available for review at http://www.parkplanning.nps.gov/EVCEA.  

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife offers online hunting tips

OLYMPIA – Wildlife biologists with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) have compiled the best information available to help hunters have a successful hunting season.

Those reports, which include information for every region of the state, can be found on the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/prospects/ .

“This is one of the best planning resources available for hunting in Washington,” said Dave Ware, game manager for WDFW.

The reports include information on deer, elk, waterfowl, turkey, upland birds and other species, as well as suggestions on techniques and places to hunt, and other details that will help hunters improve their chances in the field.

“We encourage hunters to spend time reviewing all the information, not just familiar hunting areas,” adds Ware. “Washington has an incredible diversity of habitats and game populations. These prospects provide insights into all the locations and species to hunt.” 

Staff reports are available for all 17 wildlife districts in the state. Each district has at least one biologist responsible for monitoring local wildlife populations and recommending appropriate seasons, based on criteria such as past hunter success and typical weather patterns.

Hunters should pay attention to reports from districts, such as District 6, that were affected by this summer’s wildfires. Those reports include information on hunter access and adjustments to hunting permits.

Additional resources at WDFW’s website include:

Washington Department of Natural Resources to permit campfires on some state lands

With recent rain and current weather models predicting more moderate conditions in western Washington, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is adjusting the current statewide burn ban. Recreational campfires will be permitted in established fire rings in official campgrounds on DNR-protected lands west of the Cascade crest, the agency announced today.

 

“We’ve seen a shift from extremely hot and dry to more moderate weather in western Washington, which means a reduced risk of wildfire,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “This shift allows us to adjust the burn ban to allow recreational campfires in these specific circumstances on DNR-protected lands on the west side of the state.”

 

Over the summer, high fire hazard conditions throughout the state have caused fires to spread rapidly and challenged firefighting efforts. More than $91 million has been spent so far battling wildfires in 2014, and more than 350,000 acres have burned across the state. There are many weeks to go in this year’s fire season, which usually runs into October.

 

All other outdoor burning on DNR-protected lands continues to be prohibited under this ban.  Fireworks and incendiary devices, such as exploding targets, sky lanterns, or tracer ammunition, remain illegal on all DNR-protected lands. Charcoal briquettes are also not allowed.

 

If campers and visitors are unsure about whether a campground is on DNR-protected land, they should check with local park authorities on campfire restrictions that may be in place.

 

In addition, DNR urges extreme caution around any activity that may cause a fire to start. Under these severe fire-hazard conditions, logging operations, land clearing, road and utility right of way maintenance, use of spark-emitting equipment, and other activities that create a high risk of fire ignition should be drastically curtailed.

 

Those who negligently allow fire to spread or who knowingly place forestlands in danger of destruction or damage are subject to possible civil liabilities and criminal penalties under state law. DNR, as well as anyone harmed by such a fire, may pursue damages that include loss of property and fire suppression costs.

 

The statewide burn ban will run through September 30, 2014. It applies to all lands under DNR fire protection, which does not include federally owned lands.

 

DNR’s wildfire mission

Administered by Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, DNR is responsible for preventing and fighting wildfires on 13 million acres of private, state and tribal-owned forestlands. DNR is the state’s largest on-call fire department, with more than 1,000 employees trained and available to be dispatched to fires as needed. During fire season, this includes more than 700 DNR employees who have other permanent jobs with the agency and about 400 seasonal employees hired for firefighting duties. Additionally, adult offenders from the Department of Corrections and juvenile offenders from the Department of Social and Health Services-Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration support firefighting efforts through DNR’s Correctional Camps Program. DNR also participates in Washington’s coordinated interagency approach to firefighting.

Pacific County Deputy spots and arrests man wanted for Raymond burglary

On August 8th, an alert Pacific County Sheriff’s Deputy was traveling north bound on State Route 101 through the city of Raymond when he recognized a male subject that was wanted by the Raymond Police Department for the crime of Residential Burglary, walking southbound on the sidewalk. The deputy turned around and attempted to make contact with the suspect.

The deputy exited his patrol vehicle and as he did so, the suspect began to run away. The deputy chased the suspect on foot for several hundred yards. The suspect fled to a residence that he was affiliated with. The deputy and officers with the Raymond Police Department spoke with the home owner and the suspect gave up and came out of the residence a short time later.

The suspect, identified as Terrance E. Hall, age 49 of Raymond, was placed under arrest and transported to the Pacific County Jail for booking. Hall is being held on 20,000.00 bail.

The Sheriff’s Office encourages citizens to still maintain secure residences, even during the warm and pleasant weather that we have been experiencing. Windows and doors left open or unsecured are prime targets for burglars.

Washington Dept. of Natural Resources bans all outdoor burning

With dangerously hot and dry weather driving fire danger to a new high, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is expanding the current statewide burn ban to cover all outdoor burning on all DNR-protected lands, with no exceptions, the agency announced today.

“All indicators are that we’ll continue to have high heat, low humidity, and storm systems with winds and lightning. That means huge potential for wildfires,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “We need to do everything we can to minimize danger to people, homes and habitat.”

Hot and dry conditions since early summer have caused very high fire hazard conditions throughout the state. These conditions have caused fires to spread rapidly and challenged firefighting efforts.  More than $91 million has been spent so far battling wildfires in 2014, and more than 350,000 acres have burned across the state. There are many weeks to go in this year’s fire season, which usually runs into October.

All outdoor burning on DNR-protected lands is prohibited under this ban, including recreational fires in campgrounds or anywhere on DNR-protected lands. Fireworks and incendiary devices, such as exploding targets, sky lanterns, or tracer ammunition, are illegal on all DNR-protected lands. Charcoal briquettes are also not allowed.

In addition, DNR urges extreme caution around any activity that may cause a fire to start. Under these severe fire-hazard conditions, logging operations, land clearing, road and utility right-of-way maintenance, use of spark-emitting equipment, and other activities that create a high risk of fire ignition should be drastically curtailed.

Those who negligently allow fire to spread or who knowingly place forestlands in danger of destruction or damage are subject to possible civil liabilities and criminal penalties under state law. DNR, as well as anyone harmed by such a fire, may pursue damages that include loss of property and fire suppression costs.

The statewide burn ban will run through September 30, 2014. It applies to all lands under DNR fire protection, which does not include federally owned lands.

For more specific information on burn bans, visit http://www.dnr.wa.gov/Publications/rp_fire_burn_ban_factsheet.pdf.

 

DNR’s wildfire mission

Administered by Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, DNR is responsible for preventing and fighting wildfires on 13 million acres of private, state and tribal-owned forestlands. DNR is the state’s largest on-call fire department, with more than 1,000 employees trained and available to be dispatched to fires as needed. During fire season, this includes more than 700 DNR employees who have other permanent jobs with the agency and about 400 seasonal employees hired for firefighting duties. Additionally, adult offenders from the Department of Corrections and juvenile offenders from the Department of Social and Health Services-Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration support firefighting efforts through DNR’s Correctional Camps Program. DNR also participates in Washington’s coordinated interagency approach to firefighting.

Record attendance for opening day of Grays Harbor County Fair

Attendance numbers for opening day of the Grays Harbor County Fair were very positive. Total attendance for Wednesday was 11,950. That is a 2,260 increase over 2013’s Wednesday total. Manager Mike Bruner said “In fact, it appears to be the highest Wednesday attendance in GH Fair history. The closest Wednesday total on record was 10,164 from 2012.” – Mike later corrected himself, saying “We did some checking to confirm whether or not yesterday was the highest Wednesday. We confirmed that the Dirks Bently show in 2004 was on a Wednesday, and may have brought in a higher one day total. So to be safe, it would be better to say that yesterday was the highest Wednesday total in 10 years….  The 2nd highest Wednesday in Fair History.”

Davis Shows at GHC Fair

Bruner added “great weather, an expanded marketing approach and the Thomas Rhett show are likely the main contributors.”