What You Need to Know: Carr, Mendocino Complex and Ferguson Fires

Carr Fire/Shasta County

https://google.org/crisismap/us-wildfires?hl=en&llbox=41.1249%2C40.1715%2C-120.9908%2C-123.6275&t=TERRAIN&layers=16%2C17%2C9%2C2&embedded=true

Acreage and containment: The Carr Fire in Shasta County has burned 115,538 acres — 180 square miles, or roughly the size of the entire city of San Jose. The blaze was 35 percent contained as of early morning Wednesday. The wildfire is now the seventh most destructive wildfire in California history.

Casualties: Two firefighters and four civilians have died in the blaze.

The dead include: Don Ray Smith, 81, a contract bulldozer operator working with Cal Fire; Jeremy Stoke, a firefighter with the Redding Fire Department; Melody Bledsoe, 70, and her great-grandchildren, James Roberts, 5, and Emily Roberts, 4.

Authorities announced Sunday that a sixth person had died in the blaze. The Redding Record Searchlight identified the victim Tuesday as 62-year-old Daniel Bush. Bush had recently undergone a quadruple heart bypass surgery. He was told by doctors he was not allowed to drive and couldn’t evacuate without help. His sister said she couldn’t reach Bush because the roads to his home were blocked by sheriff’s deputies.

Missing persons: The Redding Police Department is still looking for one remaining missing person by the name of Bruce Brown. If you have information about Brown, you can call the missing persons hotline given by the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office at (530) 225-4277.

Damage update: Cal Fire said Wednesday 1,465 structures have been destroyed, including 1,018 homes. Another 248 structures have been damaged, and 2,546 remain threatened. You can view a map with the most current structure information here.

Evacuations and repopulation: Here’s the latest list of mandatory evacuations and repopulation plans from the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office. Cal Fire is also publishing repopulation announcements on its Carr Fire information page.

Emergency shelters:

  • The Red Cross shelter at Shasta Community College is at capacity.
  • Crosspointe Community Church, 2960 Hartnell Avenue, Redding
  • Trinity High School, 321 Victory Lane, Weaverville
  • Grace Baptist Church, 3782 Churn Creek Road, Redding
  • Simpson College, 2211 College View Drive, Redding
  • Foothill High School, 9733 Deschutes Road, Palo Cedro
  • Valley Christian Center, 2831 Freeman Street, Anderson

Animal evacuation centers:

  • Large animal shelter: Tehama County Fairgrounds, 650 Antelope Blvd Red Bluff
  • Large animal shelter: Intermountain Fairgrounds, 530-336-5005, 44218 A St, McArthur
  • Large/small animal shelter: Redding Rodeo Grounds, 715 Auditorium Dr, Redding
  • Small animal shelter: Haven Humane, 1816 CA-273 Anderson

Drinking water alerts: The California State Water Resources Control Board issued a boil water advisoryfor three water systems — Clear Creek CSD, Centerville CSD and Shasta CSD — as a result of the Carr Fire. Customers in these areas should boil their water for one minute before using it for drinking or food preparation purposes.

Mendocino Complex/Mendocino and Lake counties

https://google.org/crisismap/us-wildfires?hl=en&llbox=39.427%2C38.94%2C-122.2732%2C-123.5916&t=TERRAIN&layers=16%2C17%2C9%2C2&embedded=true

Acreage and containment: Two fires, the River and Ranch fires, are collectively named the Mendocino Complex.

As of Wednesday morning, the River Fire had burned 31,898 acres (about 49 square miles) northeast of the community of Hopland and west of the town of Lakeport. The blaze is 38 percent contained. The the Ranch Fire, burning southwest of the community of Potter Valley and north of the Highway 20, has consumed 59,014 acres (92 square miles) and is 15 percent contained.

Damage update: Ten residences, including seven homes, have been destroyed, and 12,200 other structures are threatened.

Evacuations and repopulation: See Cal Fire’s Mendocino Complex information sheet for details on evacuation ordered Mendocino and Lake counties. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has also posted a map of evacuation areas. Cal Fire is publishing repopulation notices on its Ranch and River fire information pages.

Evacuation center: Mendocino College, 1000 Hensley Creek, Ukiah.

Animal shelters: Horses are being accepted at Redwood Riders Arena at 8300 East Road in Redwood Valley, and small animals are being accepted at Animal Care at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah. You can contact the shelter directly at 707-463-4427 with any questions or concerns.

Ferguson Fire

https://google.org/crisismap/us-wildfires?hl=en&llbox=37.9436%2C37.2417%2C-118.8572%2C-120.615&t=TERRAIN&layers=16%2C17%2C9%2C2&embedded=true

Acreage and containment: The fire just west of Yosemite National Park had burned 62,883 acres (98 square miles) and is 39 percent contained as of Wednesday morning .

Yosemite closures: The Ferguson Fire has prompted an extended closure of Yosemite Valley and other parts of the national park. Officials announced Tuesday those closures will continue through at least Sunday, Aug. 5.

Casualties: The fire has killed two firefighters: Brian Hughes, who died Sunday morning after being struck by a tree, and Braden Varney, who died when his bulldozer tumbled down a mountainside. The fire has injured 9 others.

Evacuations and repopulations: Federal incident managers have published a list of mandatory evacuations and repopulation notices on Inciweb’s Ferguson Fire page.

Evacuation center: Mariposa Elementary School, 5044 Jones St. in Mariposa.

Animal shelters: Small animals are being accepted at the Mariposa SPCA at 5599 Highway 49 North in Mariposa. Large animals are being accepted at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds located at 5007 Fairgrounds Road in Mariposa.

This post contains reporting from The Associated Press.

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The No. 1 Way To Build Healthy Tenant Relationships: Communication

It’s no secret that communication is the key to any successful relationship, whether it’s with family members, a partner you’re romantically involved with or colleagues at work. Open and direct communication between tenants and property managers is no different. Establishing a strong foundation of communication is important from the start, even when someone is still a prospective renter, because it helps rental issues get solved quickly and mitigates future problems.

So how can property managers best communicate with their residents?

Use Tech To Communicate More Effectively

Luckily, technology advancements have made communication between property managers and tenants quicker and easier. Mobile usage is so much a part of our everyday lives that it has changed tenant expectations — including how they expect their property managers to get in touch with them. Text messaging is commonplace and allows property managers to quickly send important, personalized updates to tenants, including package delivery notifications, late rent reminders or community announcements.

Property managers are also utilizing software portals to set up and send emails and text messages to help streamline the maintenance process, which creates more proactive communication with tenants. Today, people tend to screen or ignore calls, but a text from their property manager that more information is required on their maintenance request will likely get their attention and prompt response.

In addition, many property managers are embracing social media to communicate with residents. Creating custom Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and building websites have supplemented, and in some cases replaced, the mailroom bulletin board as a way to share resident-related information. This method ultimately allows property managers to communicate to a broader reach of their residents with the click of a button so they get more done in less time and tenants get the benefit of enhanced updates.

Hone-In On Core Communication Skills: Listening

Technology has enabled property managers to build more open lines of communication with their tenants. However, without demonstrating core communication skills, the technology will just fall flat.

We learn one of the first (and most important!) rules of communication when we’re children: To be a good communicator, you must be a good listener. Property managers must ensure they’re actively listening to their tenants’ complaints, notifications and preferences — and then responding. This will foster trust with your residents and create an approachable relationship without tension, which is the engagement property managers are striving for.

Purposefully listening to tenants can also save property managers time if, for example, a tenant calls with a maintenance request or lease updates. Listening saves property managers unneeded follow up communication with tenants and, in some cases, can prevent costly litigation if details were discussed but not paid attention to.

Fast Follow-Up

Some maintenance issues can take a while to resolve. As a property manager, you have to clarify details and gather data that can take several calls, emails and follow up messages, especially if you’re working with an outside vendor to fix the problem. And, any missed calls and unanswered emails during this time will just add to the tenant’s wait time for the issue to be resolved.

Although a maintenance problem itself may take a while to get fixed, tenants will get even more frustrated if they feel like they aren’t being updated on where things stand. It’s the property manager’s responsibility to keep the tenant updated on all they’re doing to remedy the issue in a consistent manner. For instance, through text messaging, a property manager can reduce the need for tenant follow-up since they can receive steady maintenance updates.

Personalize Your Message

Using technology, property managers can now automate a number of the messages they send to residents but must be wary of form notes being seen as generic or coming off as inauthentic. A little personalization goes a long way.

For example, it’s important to add the first name of residents to email blasts instead of just the standard “Hello.” Note how your tenants like to be contacted, whether it be via phone, text or email, and stick to these preferences whenever possible. Does a tenant work the night shift and can only be reached via phone during certain hours? Does another travel a lot for work and want to be reached via text messaging due to the different time zones they’re in? Knowing these preferences creates a better customer experience.

Open Lines Of Communication = Resident Retention

Property managers need to be in regular contact with their tenants to build a trusting relationship, not only when there’s a maintenance issue or its lease renewal time. An open line of communication leads to an overall better customer experience, and this leads to residents who want to stay put at their properties, as well as recommend them to friends and family. And in a competitive market, this positive word-of-mouth can be the best marketing tool a property manager has.

 

Do You Need a Building Permit for Outdoor Concrete Work

Planning to have some concrete work done around your property? Great. Will you need to pull a permit? It’s complicated. You see, building permit requirements vary according to where you live, so it’s essential to check out the laws that apply to your geographical location. To make things more complicated, your HOA (or board, if you live in a townhouse) is likely to have rules of its own. Yikes! The good news is that many concrete installations at or just above grade level will not need a permit. Don’t give in to the temptation to just skip the permitting process entirely, though; you could end up with a citation; retroactive permit costs; fines; and perhaps difficulty in financing, insuring, or selling your home.

DISCLAIMER: This article is for general informational purposes only. Check with your local building authority for the rules that will apply to your specific project.

Patio

Is your planned concrete patio to be less than 30 inches above grade? If so, you’re in luck – you will most likely not need a building permit, although your concrete contractor might have to pull an excavation permit. (Don’t forget to contact a one-call number, as well, to make sure you will not be digging in the vicinity of underground utility pipes or cables.) The picture may alter if you are going to add walls or a roof to your patio.

Driveway or walkway

As with patios, height is an important factor in determining whether you can forego the permit process to construct or replace a concrete driveway or walkway, but here the limit changes to only 18 inches above grade. (We told you it was complicated.) Width is frequently restricted to 18 feet, except for turnarounds, as in the area in front of your garage. Will the new drive or path pass directly over a basement or other part of your home? Uh oh. Check it out with your local building authority.

Parking pad

When you’d like more space for your vehicles, a concrete parking pad might sound like the perfect solution. Before you call out the contractor, though, check with the regional authority. Even a building permit won’t help you in certain parts of the country; in these areas, parking of cars, trucks, motorcycles, RVs, or boats is limited to your driveway only and using a parking pad, even on your own property, is illegal (!!).

Retaining wall or fence

Are you about to put up a concrete retaining wall or fence? You probably won’t need a permit (with emphasis on the word “probably”) for a wall or fence that will measure a maximum of 2.5 to 6 feet, once again depending on where you live. Other factors that may change the requirements are your local soil type, the climate, and whether the boundary will be located on a property line. In some cases, not only a permit will be essential, but also a professional engineer’s design or approval.

Tool sheds and other outbuildings

Surprisingly, you may be allowed to skip the permit process entirely when constructing an outbuilding such as a tool shed, playhouse, greenhouse, gazebo, or the like, with a concrete slab foundation. However, you will find that there is likely to be a size limitation for the roof of approximately 120 square feet.

Laura Firszt writes for networx.com.

Highway 1 Is Open Again, 14 Months After Epic Big Sur Slide

Aerial view of the rebuilt section of Highway 1 across the Mud Creek slide. This section of the route, near Gorda at the southern end of Big Sur, was closed in May 2017.  (Caltrans District 5 via Twitter)

Updated 1:20 p.m. Wednesday

A section of Highway 1 obliterated by a monster landslide near the southern end of Big Sur is reopening after 14 months of re-engineering and construction

Caltrans announced Tuesday night that the final phase of the $54 million project — which restored the broken highway just south of the community of Gorda and 25 miles north of San Simeon — went faster than expected and that the road would be open to traffic Wednesday.

A celebratory agency tweet declared the road open at 9:45 a.m.

The slide on May 20, 2017, occurred when a rain-saturated mountainside at Mud Creek gave way, destroying hundreds of yards of the coast highway and dumping millions of tons of dirt and rock into the Pacific.

The episode was the last and largest in a series of slides, slumps and slope collapses along the coastal route during the extraordinarily rainy season of 2016-17. At the northern end of Big Sur, a mudslide knocked out the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge near Big Sur Station.

With Big Sur cut off for months last year, many residents, construction crews and tourists were forced to use Nacimiento-Fergusson Road, a narrow, twisting route across the mountains, to access the area.

The disruptions choked off the usually heavy flow of visitors to the 75-mile stretch of coast.

Now, with a new bridge in place at Pfeiffer Canyon and Wednesday’s reopening at Mud Creek, that isolation is over.

Rick Aldinger, general manager of the Big Sur River Inn, said Wednesday he’s looking forward to a steady flow of guests.

“I would like to think that by noon we’ll be back up to normal levels of business. But I really don’t expect that to happen,” Aldinger said.

Caltrans spokeswoman Susana Cruz noted the Mud Creek reopening is two months ahead of last year’s original estimate — while vacationers are still on the road.

“We’re just really happy that there’s still part of summer left, because the original plan was mid-September,” after the height of the tourist season, she said. “We’re very happy about that.”

This report contains reporting from Krista Almanzan of KAZU.

HOA Earthquake Insurance, To Buy or Not to Buy?

I am going to give my annual plug for earthquake insurance for HOAs. I have written a whole article about it which appears in the Articles section on my website at http://www.californiacondoguru.com. Here is an excerpt explaining something few boards think about when deciding how to approach the question. Too many people dismiss it because of the cost. That in my view, without delving deeper into the possibilities of risk balancing, and options, and how to get owners enrolled in a more protective system, could be a breach of duty on the part of a Board. Boards, I know you have a lot on your plate, but I am one knowledgeable homeowner who understands that having some kind of foundation to rebuild from in the event of an earthquake that destroys ANY building in the condo development that I live in is critical to each and every person’s investment in the property. I am one savvy owner that understands those who have equity in the properties will stay and rebuild if they can, but those who have little equity – like investors and anyone mortgaged to the hilt, will simply walk away, leaving the entire burden of rebuilding to those who want to stay.

Here is the excerpt from the Article on the website on the topic many miss in the consideration of whether to have earthquake insurance:

“It’s only fair to talk about the reality that some owners whose master plan is to “walk away” from their homes if the big one hits, and let the banks foreclose, for this too is an honest concern. If an association carries master earthquake coverage, all owners must share in the premiums, thus sharing in the price of balancing of the risk ­ thus all owners have participated in laying the “foundation” to recovery. If an association has no master policy, those owners who plan to walk will avoid all responsibility toward protecting the association’s financial health with protective coverage. Which seems the most fair, especially to the folks who have built up equity in their property? After the fact the association does have foreclosure rights and also personal debt action rights against owners who do not pay special assessments but as most know, it is not easy to collect debt these days. So why let these owners avoid the up-front participation in risk sharing?”

Homeowners Association Frequently Asked Questions

* * *
What is the HOA’s role versus Homeowner’s role or the Builder’s role?
HOA CONTRACTOR HOMEOWNER BUILDER
(*Maintenance Free Homes) (All Homeowners) (Refer to Builder Landscape Policy)
*Weekly mowing Flowers in beds if desired Installs initial lawn
*Lawn fertilizations Plant Fertilizations Installs initial mulch
(5per season) (If desired)
*Replace Front yard mulch Backyard Mulch & Shrubs Grading or drainage issues?
(↑One time/year) (If desired)
*Trim Front yard shrubs Seed lawn bare spots
(↑One time/year)
*Weed Front mulch beds Individual irrigation system
(open/close/repairs)
Common Area Irrigation Replace dead plants/trees
Start up & shut down
________________________________________________________________________
What is included in my Homeowner Association Dues?
*Maintenance Free Homes receive the following services:
 Spring cleanup (1x)
 Weekly mowing
 Re-mulching beds(1x)
 Weeding mulch beds
 Fall clean up (1x)
 Snow removal
(snowfalls over 2”)
*All Homeowner’s dues include maintenance of the Common Areas. For detailed specifications, please
reference the HOA budget in the Offering Plan.
________________________________________________________________________
What is NOT included in my Homeowner Association Dues?
 Plant & shrub fertilizations
 Lawn disease
 Opening, closing + repairs of
individual irrigation systems
 Watering of shrubs & lawns
 Calcium chloride treatments
after snow removal
__________________________________________________________________________________
Why does my new lawn have weeds?
*Newly emerging grass receives applications of fertilizer and insecticide. Because young grass is
typically somewhat fragile, newly seeded lawns generally require three mowing occurrences before
any weed control products can be applied. You will see a fair amount of weeds germinating the first
growing season until your lawn is established. We thank you for your patience during this process.
_________________________________________________________________________________
Page 2
How many lawn fertilizations are included in the grounds maintenance contract?
*Five lawn fertilizations per year and includes grub control.
__________________________________________________________________________________
Does the grounds maintenance contractor take care of bare spots?
*Seeding is not part of the grounds maintenance contract, although they may carry some seed in
their trucks and may treat some bare spots at homes. Homeowners are encouraged to treat & seed
their own bare spots.
__________________________________________________________________________________
Is plant or tree fertilization included in the HOA contract?
*No; plant, shrub and tree fertilizations are not included in the HOA contract.
__________________________________________________________________________________
Can I pay for additional services if they are not included in the grounds maintenance
contract?
*Yes. Homeowners can call the HOA contractor directly to receive a quote for additional services.
Some of these additional services may include:
 An extra lawn fertilization (if more than 5 are wanted)
 Plant, shrub or tree fertilization
 Back yard mulching
 Disease treatment for lawns if a disease occurs on lawns
__________________________________________________________________________________
What if our trees, shrubs or plants die?
*Trees, shrubs and plants are a Homeowners responsibility. Although the HOA contractor contract
includes pruning shrubs once per year, it does not include replacement at all.
__________________________________________________________________________________
Will the HOA close my lawn sprinklers for me in the Fall and open them in the Spring?
*No. Closing and opening of sprinklers is a Homeowners responsibility. The HOA budget covers the
opening & closing of the sprinklers in the Common Areas only if applicable.
__________________________________________________________________________________
When are the monthly HOA payments due?
* The HOA is dependent upon all members to pay their monthly dues by the first of every month, as
they have a budget to maintain and bills to pay for the operation and maintenance of the common
properties.
________________________________________________________________________________
Can I pay my dues in advance?
*Yes, you may pay ahead on your dues. Some customers who travel to warmer climates in the winter
like to pay in advance so they don’t have to worry about their dues while they are gone.
__________________________________________________________________________________
Can I pay my dues electronically and transfer the money directly into the HOA account?
*Yes! In most of our HOA communities, we are offering auto withdrawal, so please contact your HOA
representative for the form to fill out. This form insures prompt and secure payment of your HOA
dues.
__________________________________________________________________________________
If I run out of dues coupons can I send my check without a coupon?
*Yes, just write the month(s) you are paying for on the memo line.
*You can also print more coupons directly from the HOA website if applicable.
Page 3
__________________________________________________________________________________
Do I have to submit an Architectural Review Form for all outside projects?
*Generally speaking, all outside projects require approval. Any modification to the exterior of the
home or permanent landscape projects requires Board Approval. Please refer to your Homeowners
Association Offering Plan for guidance and if in doubt, we recommend you submit a request.
__________________________________________________________________________________
How can I sign up for one of the Volunteer Committees?
Homeowner involved communities make for a smooth process, so we encourage your input and
involvement. Volunteers are encouraged to become involved in the Architectural Review or Grounds
Maintenance Committees.

Homeowners Association Frequently Asked Questions

* * *
What is the HOA’s role versus Homeowner’s role or the Builder’s role?
HOA CONTRACTOR HOMEOWNER BUILDER
(*Maintenance Free Homes) (All Homeowners) (Refer to Builder Landscape Policy)
*Weekly mowing Flowers in beds if desired Installs initial lawn
*Lawn fertilizations Plant Fertilizations Installs initial mulch
(5per season) (If desired)
*Replace Front yard mulch Backyard Mulch & Shrubs Grading or drainage issues?
(↑One time/year) (If desired)
*Trim Front yard shrubs Seed lawn bare spots
(↑One time/year)
*Weed Front mulch beds Individual irrigation system
(open/close/repairs)
Common Area Irrigation Replace dead plants/trees
Start up & shut down
________________________________________________________________________
What is included in my Homeowner Association Dues?
*Maintenance Free Homes receive the following services:
 Spring cleanup (1x)
 Weekly mowing
 Re-mulching beds(1x)
 Weeding mulch beds
 Fall clean up (1x)
 Snow removal
(snowfalls over 2”)
*All Homeowner’s dues include maintenance of the Common Areas. For detailed specifications, please
reference the HOA budget in the Offering Plan.
________________________________________________________________________
What is NOT included in my Homeowner Association Dues?
 Plant & shrub fertilizations
 Lawn disease
 Opening, closing + repairs of
individual irrigation systems
 Watering of shrubs & lawns
 Calcium chloride treatments
after snow removal
__________________________________________________________________________________
Why does my new lawn have weeds?
*Newly emerging grass receives applications of fertilizer and insecticide. Because young grass is
typically somewhat fragile, newly seeded lawns generally require three mowing occurrences before
any weed control products can be applied. You will see a fair amount of weeds germinating the first
growing season until your lawn is established. We thank you for your patience during this process.
_________________________________________________________________________________
Page 2
How many lawn fertilizations are included in the grounds maintenance contract?
*Five lawn fertilizations per year and includes grub control.
__________________________________________________________________________________
Does the grounds maintenance contractor take care of bare spots?
*Seeding is not part of the grounds maintenance contract, although they may carry some seed in
their trucks and may treat some bare spots at homes. Homeowners are encouraged to treat & seed
their own bare spots.
__________________________________________________________________________________
Is plant or tree fertilization included in the HOA contract?
*No; plant, shrub and tree fertilizations are not included in the HOA contract.
__________________________________________________________________________________
Can I pay for additional services if they are not included in the grounds maintenance
contract?
*Yes. Homeowners can call the HOA contractor directly to receive a quote for additional services.
Some of these additional services may include:
 An extra lawn fertilization (if more than 5 are wanted)
 Plant, shrub or tree fertilization
 Back yard mulching
 Disease treatment for lawns if a disease occurs on lawns
__________________________________________________________________________________
What if our trees, shrubs or plants die?
*Trees, shrubs and plants are a Homeowners responsibility. Although the HOA contractor contract
includes pruning shrubs once per year, it does not include replacement at all.
__________________________________________________________________________________
Will the HOA close my lawn sprinklers for me in the Fall and open them in the Spring?
*No. Closing and opening of sprinklers is a Homeowners responsibility. The HOA budget covers the
opening & closing of the sprinklers in the Common Areas only if applicable.
__________________________________________________________________________________
When are the monthly HOA payments due?
* The HOA is dependent upon all members to pay their monthly dues by the first of every month, as
they have a budget to maintain and bills to pay for the operation and maintenance of the common
properties.
________________________________________________________________________________
Can I pay my dues in advance?
*Yes, you may pay ahead on your dues. Some customers who travel to warmer climates in the winter
like to pay in advance so they don’t have to worry about their dues while they are gone.
__________________________________________________________________________________
Can I pay my dues electronically and transfer the money directly into the HOA account?
*Yes! In most of our HOA communities, we are offering auto withdrawal, so please contact your HOA
representative for the form to fill out. This form insures prompt and secure payment of your HOA
dues.
__________________________________________________________________________________
If I run out of dues coupons can I send my check without a coupon?
*Yes, just write the month(s) you are paying for on the memo line.
*You can also print more coupons directly from the HOA website if applicable.
Page 3
__________________________________________________________________________________
Do I have to submit an Architectural Review Form for all outside projects?
*Generally speaking, all outside projects require approval. Any modification to the exterior of the
home or permanent landscape projects requires Board Approval. Please refer to your Homeowners
Association Offering Plan for guidance and if in doubt, we recommend you submit a request.
__________________________________________________________________________________
How can I sign up for one of the Volunteer Committees?
Homeowner involved communities make for a smooth process, so we encourage your input and
involvement. Volunteers are encouraged to become involved in the Architectural Review or Grounds
Maintenance Committees.