Safety and Public Awareness

Safety and Public Awareness

News reporting arrests, weather warnings, product recalls, and other important information relating to safety and public awareness, are found in this category.

Businesses and residences in the waterfront area of Eureka were evacuated Tues., Sept. 17 as the Humboldt County Bomb Squad and Eureka Police worked to remove "projectiles" that were uncovered at a construction site and identified as Navy artillery shells, according to a Eureka Police Department press release.

The artillery shells were safely transported to Samoa Beach and destroyed. At this time it is unknown how the shells came to be at the construction site. The full Eureka Police Department press release appears below.

EPD Press Release, dated Sept., 17, 2013:

On 9/17/13, at about 8:00 AM, Eureka Police Department officers were dispatched to a construction site along the waterfront between H and I Streets after construction workers reported uncovering two World War II era artillery shells.  The shells were located in separate dirt piles within the construction site.

After confirming the presence of possible undetonated artillery shells, officers established a wide perimeter around the construction site and evacuated neighboring businesses and residences as a precautionary measure.  Assistance from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad was also requested.

The Bomb Squad subsequently removed the projectiles and transported them in a “single vent explosives transportation trailer” to the Samoa beach where they were destroyed.  EPD provided a police escort for the explosives trailer’s transportation to the beach.  The evacuations were lifted at approximately 11:45 AM. 

The first projectile was determined to be empty and inert.  The second projectile was filled with an undermined substance and it is unknown whether or not that projectile was “live.” The Bomb Squad identified the projectiles as being Navy artillery.
The origin of the artillery shells and how they came to be buried at the construction site is unknown at this time.



Two suspects were arrested in connection with marijuana grows on two separate properties in Southern Humboldt, according to a press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office today, Thurs. Aug 22-2013.

Arrested at a 40 acre property off the 3200 block of Perry Meadow Road in Briceland, were Jesus Guillermo Grass Martinez age 35 and Juan Canas age 23. During the operation Officers confiscated 599 marijuana plants and found methamphetamine, cocaine and psilocybin mushrooms. Also seized were an assault rifle with two high capacity magazines, a 12-gauge shotgun, a .45 caliber handgun, and $40,000 dollars in cash.  Also at the scene was a third suspect identified as Carrie Watcher-Martinez age 40, the wife of Jesus Martinez. She was cited for cultivation and possession for sales of marijuana and released at the scene.

The second property, allegedly "under the control of Jesus Martinez", located in the 9000 block of Wilder Ridge Road Ettersburg, yielded 195 outdoor marijuana plants ranging in size from 5 foot to 8 feet. For more information see the press release below.

HCSO Press Release, dated Aug. 22, 2013:                        

On 08-20-2013 the Humboldt County Drug Task Force assisted by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office served two marijuana related search warrants in the Garberville area.
The first search warrant was served on a 40 acre parcel of property located off the 3200 block of Perry Meadow Road in Briceland at about 10:00 am. Officers located an outdoor marijuana garden on the property. Officers seized 599 marijuana plants that ranged in size from 2 foot to 3 feet.  Officers located methamphetamine, cocaine and psilocybin mushrooms in the residence. Officers located an AR-15 type, .223 caliber assault rifle with two high capacity magazines, a 12 gauge shotgun and a .45 caliber handgun. Officers located $40,000 dollars in cash in the residence that was seized for possible asset forfeiture.

Officers arrested two suspects located on the property, who were identified as Jesus Guillermo Grass Martinez age 35 and Juan Canas age 23. Martinez was arrested for cultivation and possession for sales of marijuana, possession and possession for sales of methamphetamine possession of cocaine, possession and possession for sales of psilocybin mushrooms and for being armed in the commission of a felony. Martinez’s bail was set at $125,000 dollars.
Canas was arrested for cultivation and possession for sales of marijuana. Canas also had an immigration hold placed on him for being in the United States illegally. A third suspect identified as Carrie Watcher-Martinez age 40, who is Jesus Martinez wife, was cited and released at the scene for cultivation and possession for sales of marijuana.

The second search warrant was served in the 9000 block of Wilder Ridge Road Ettersburg at about 2:30 pm. This property was under the control of Jesus Martinez. Officers located 195 outdoor marijuana plants growing on the property that ranged in size from 5 foot to 8 feet. There were no suspects located on the property. This case remains under investigation by the Humboldt County Drug Task Force.
If anyone wants to report drug related activity they can contact Humboldt County Drug Task Force at 707-444-8095.

Shown below suspects Jesus Guillermo Grass Martinez and Juan Canas.


Some of the property seized in the operation is shown below.


Canine parvovirus is a contagious virus which does not infect humans but if left untreated, in unvaccinated dogs, can have a mortality rate of over 90%. Puppies that have not been vaccinated or protected by maternal antibodies are especially vulnerable to infection by the virus. There is both an intestinal form of infection and a cardiac form. Common symptoms of the intestinal form are severe vomiting and dysentery, while the cardiac form causes respiratory or cardiovascular failure in young puppies.

Use the player below to hear more about parvovirus in a piece submitted by KMUD Community Journalist Monique Kemper. This story aired on the KMUD Local News on Thurs., July 25, 2013 and includes an interview with Kim McPherson, manager of the Garberville Redway Veterinary Group and others having experience with canine parvovirus.

Additional Resources:

Click on the following links for more information on parvovirus: (webmd) (Wikipedia)
View or download: (parvovirus brochure) (parvovirus flyer) (parvovirus poster)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Blue-green algae warning issued

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At least 11 dog deaths from suspected blue-green algae poisoning have occurred in the last dozen years, according to the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). A recent press release from DHHS warns that low flows in local rivers, along with sustained high temperatures, have led to ideal conditions for accelerated blooms of potentially toxic blue-green algae. The algae can occur in any freshwater body and appears as a scum, foam or mats having colors ranging from green, blue-green, white to brown.

Human beings can also be in danger from this type of toxin, especially small children, but dogs are especially vulnerable because they are more apt to swallow the toxin when licking their fur. According to the press release, "Potential symptoms in dogs following exposure to blue-green algae toxins can include lethargy, difficulty breathing, salivation, excessive urination, vomiting, diarrhea or convulsions."  The full press release appears below.


Full press release from the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services, dated July 25, 2013:

Officials with the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) are warning recreational users of the South Fork Eel, Van Duzen, Klamath and Mattole rivers, Big Lagoon, Freshwater Lagoon and all other freshwater bodies to avoid contact with algae this summer.

Low flows along the South Fork of the Eel River as well as the Van Duzen, coupled with sustained high temperatures in the inland areas, have created the ideal conditions for rapid blooming of blue-green algae.

DHHS is aware of 11 dog deaths that may have been caused by blue-green algae poisoning since 2001. The dogs died shortly after swimming in Big Lagoon, the South Fork Eel River and the Van Duzen River.

A nerve toxin associated with blue-green algae was found in the stomachs of the dogs that died on the South Fork Eel River in 2002. The same toxin was found in water samples from the South Fork Eel and Van Duzen rivers in 2009 just after two dogs died. This poison is the most likely cause of the dog deaths on these rivers. Dogs are more vulnerable than people because they may swallow the toxin when they lick their fur. The onset of symptoms can be rapid; dogs have died within 30 minutes to one hour after leaving the water.

Blue-green algae blooms that produce a liver toxin have been documented in Klamath River reservoirs and the Klamath River this year. The current status of this river may be found at the Klamath Basin Monitoring Program website: http://www.kbmp.net/blue-green-algae-tracker.

Blue-green algae can be present in any freshwater body. It looks like green, blue-green, white or brown scum, foam or mats floating on the water. Usually, it does not affect animals or people. However, warm water and abundant nutrients can cause blue-green algae to grow more rapidly than usual. These floating algal masses, or “blooms,” can produce natural toxins that are very potent. Dogs and children are most likely to be affected because of their smaller body size and tendency to stay in the water for longer periods.

Potential symptoms in dogs following exposure to blue-green algae toxins can include lethargy, difficulty breathing, salivation, excessive urination, vomiting, diarrhea or convulsions. People can experience eye irritation, skin rash, mouth ulcers, vomiting, diarrhea and cold- or flu-like symptoms.  

DHHS officials recommend the following guidelines for recreational users of all freshwater areas in Humboldt County:

•    Keep children, pets and livestock from swimming in or drinking water containing algal scums or mats.
•    Adults should also avoid wading and swimming in water containing algal blooms. Try not to swallow or inhale water spray in an algal bloom area.
•    If no algal scums or mats are visible, you should still carefully watch young children and warn them not to swallow any water.
•    Fish should be consumed only after removing the guts and liver and rinsing fillets in tap water.
•    Never drink, cook with or wash dishes with water from rivers, streams or lakes.
•    Get medical attention immediately if you think that you, your pet or livestock might have been poisoned by blue-green algae toxins. Be sure to tell the doctor about possible contact with blue-green algae.

Human activities can have a big effect on nutrient and water flows in rivers, streams or lakes. Phosphorous and nitrogen found in fertilizers, animal waste and human waste can stimulate blooms. Excessive water diversions can increase water temperatures and reduce flows. People can take the following measures to prevent algal blooms in local waters:

•    Be very conservative with the use of water, fertilizers and pesticides on your lawn, garden or agricultural operation.
•    Recycle any “spent” soil that has been used for intensive growing by tilling it back into gardens, or protect it from rainfall to avoid nutrient runoff.
•    Plant or maintain native plants around banks. These plants help filter water and don’t require fertilizers.
•    Pump and maintain your septic system every three to four years.
•    Prevent surface water runoff from agricultural and livestock areas.
•    Prevent erosion around construction and logging operations.

For more information, contact the DHHS Division of Environmental Health at 707-445-6215 or 1-800-963-9241. People may report unusual blooms or conditions, including photographs, to Environmental Health by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The California Department of Public Health website also has more details at www.cdph.ca.gov/healthinfo/environhealth/water/Pages/bluegreenalgae.aspx.

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