2017-06-22 / Front Page

The heat is on

Temperatures soar; burning stopped

This huge boulder on Highway 140 in Yosemite National Park had to be removed by crews following a rock slide. The road reopened last Saturday afternoon. 
Submitted photo This huge boulder on Highway 140 in Yosemite National Park had to be removed by crews following a rock slide. The road reopened last Saturday afternoon. Submitted photo A heatwave gripped the Mariposa County area starting last weekend.

Temperatures soared into the triple digits throughout the County, causing some power outages as well as an increased fire danger.

With that as a factor, residential burning in Mariposa County has been suspended by the Mariposa County Air Pollution Control District.

The County’s burn information phone line will now indicate all days are considered no residential burning. The move, according to Dave Conway, director of environmental health division, comes prior to what is the annual proclamation by CAL FIRE.

That proclamation is in the works but needs approval from CAL FIRE officials in Sacramento before being implemented.

Conway said on Monday, he received a call from CAL FIRE officials who asked they ban any residential burning at all elevations.

“Their paperwork takes a while,” said Conway.

Because of that, the air pollution district has implemented the ban until the formal declaration comes from Sacramento.

Land managers conducting prescribed burning activities are asked to contact the air Prescribed Fire Incident Reporting System for burn day activities. Those are mainly officials in Yosemite National Park and the two national forests in the County, said Conway.

Continued heat, power outages

The Mariposa County Department of Health set up a cooling station at the library in Mariposa. It was scheduled to be open through at least Friday.

Officials from the County said six people took advantage of the cooling station on Monday. It was also announced that if necessary, a cooling station will be opened in Coulterville.

Power outages were also reported throughout the area.

A lengthy outage was reported in the Jerseydale area on Sunday. Power was restored late Sunday to the area.

In Cathey’s Valley on Saturday, there was a power outage and a pole had to be replaced.

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) officials said because of the electric demand related to the excessive heat, mainly in the form of overloaded transformers. The transformers weaken during the late afternoon hours after being exposed to extreme heat throughout the day.

Company officials said they have activated local emergency centers and staffed those centers with extra crews and resources.

All are on alert and ready to respond to outages as soon as they occur.

The National Weather Service is forecasting warm temperatures through Saturday with slightly less warmer temperatures predicted by Sunday.

But even then, it’s not much cooler. They are calling for a high of 100 on Saturday, 97 on Sunday and then down to 95 on Monday. Lows were expected to be in the 70s.

Assistance available

Chevon Kothari, director of Mariposa County Human Services, said their office can help people with heat-related issues.

That includes providing fans, ice, water and even helping with air conditioning repairs.

In addition, she said Human Services can provide transportation to and from the cooling center at the library.

Persons can call 966-2000 to get more information about the assistance.

Pool open later

The pool in Mariposa will stay open until 7 p.m. through this Sunday for heat relief. There will be open swimming for residents.

Call 966-2498 for more information.

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