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A dismal year for snowpack in the Sierras. Lake Co News reports low snowpack in the Sierras and parts of the Mendocino National Forest means no public snow survey. There was supposed to be a survey by the Department of Water Resources Friday, but apparently because there’s pretty much just bare ground at the Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada, the survey was canceled. The Dept. of Water Resources told the news site it’s the first time they’ve ever canceled the media snow survey event because there’s nothing to see. State officials with the governor at the survey station in April saying it was the first time in April since 1941 that no snow was found there.

This week has been deemed “Wildfire Awareness Week.” The Governor made the declaration at the same time Cal Fire reminds all Californians to prepare for and prevent wildfires with vigilance. The Cal Fire Chief says with record dry and warm weather this winter, fire activity has already been almost double what it normally is this time of year. Last Friday, the Department of Water Resources announced the state’s snowpack water content was only 3 percent of normal.

A new study shows the state’s high-wage workers have been getting less money over the years. The analysis shared with Lake Co News from the University of California at Berkeley. The study shows low-wage workers are about a third of the state’s workforce at nearly 5 million. They’ve earned even less in inflation-adjusted dollars then they did more than 35 years ago. The study also shows the low wage earners are older now and more highly educated.

To prepare for the upcoming fire season, Cal Fire’s Humboldt-Del Norte Unit fire crews from Alder, High Rock, and Eel River Conservation Camps plus those in the Mendocino Unit from Chamberlain Creek and Parlin Fork Conservation Camps are getting ready with their yearly exercises next week. The annual Redwood Coast Fire Preparedness Exercises are on May 12, 13, and 14, 2015 starting at the Eel River Conservation Camp. They’ll be tested on physical conditioning, firefighting knowledge, fire safety and personal protective equipment.

Surplus gear is for sale from the Mendocino, Shasta-Trinity and Klamath National Forests. The internet auction at g-s-a auctions.gov is selling surplus vehicles. Internet bidding started Monday and goes until next Monday. There are only Forest Service items. Organizers warn those bidding to check out the “Terms and Conditions” regarding how to register, bid, pay, associated warranties and removal of successful bid items. For more info call 530-934-1189.

Volunteers needed for the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority, Hopland Fire and others. The chief of the Hopland Fire Dept. says some employers aren’t as flexible with letting folks go out and volunteer as they used to, but he says volunteers are crucial. They need people who can come out during the day or late at night. There’s no age limit, just those in good health who are committed to the community and want to make a difference. There is a 6 month training period and weekly training sessions Thursday evenings. For more info 462-7921.

State regulators say Californians aren’t conserving that much water. The State Water Resources Control Board got the update from across the state as it thinks about more mandatory emergency regulations to protect water supplies. The board says a survey of water departments showed water use was down less than 4 percent in March compared with March 2013 and that the overall savings were only at 9 percent since last summer. Some new rules being considered include banning cities from using drinking-quality water to water grass and to have homeowners let lawns go brown.

A woman was thinking quick during a hostage situation in Ohio. Apparently the woman ordered a Pizza from Pizza Hut and sent a message with her order. The victim ordered her pizza online and in the comment section put a plea down to get her and her kids help immediately. Employees at the Pizza Hut restaurant immediately called 911. The woman’s ex and the dad of her kids was holding the family hostage. He finally came out and was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a weapon, battery, false imprisonment, and obstructing justice.

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