A federal judge has dismissed charges against the California man accused of sparking the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park in 2013. Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero has more.
Prosecutors decided to drop the charges against 33-year-old Keith Matthew Emerald, after two key witnesses unexpectedly died. Without their testimonies the US Attorney said it was unlikely they could prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.
This week on Valley Edition we talk about the Junction Fire with Reporter Ezra David Romero who was on the ground earlier this week. Also on the program our news team visits the community of Groveland near where the Rim Fire hit and talks to locals about how the town is recovering.
We now know who ignited the Rim Fire that scarred part of the beauty of the Sierra Nevada. But many other questions about the response to the fire still remain. In the second piece for our series on the fire, FM89 reporters Ezra David Romero and Diana Aguilera revisit the fire’s burn area and discover that people in the region are still wondering why the fire got so big.
Three weeks ago Wesley Wills had a flashback.
“We were driving down Big Oak Flat Road and just saw it blowing up again like flame lengths of over 100 feet,” Wills says.
The hunter accused of starting the massive Rim Fire last year in the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park surrendered to federal authorities today.
Wearing a white t-shirt and jeans with his wrists and ankles cuffed, Keith Matthew Emerald pleaded not guilty on a four count indictment today in federal court in Fresno.
He turned himself over to U.S. Marshals Service this morning prior to his afternoon arraignment on charges that his illegal campfire grew beyond his control and sparked the largest wildfire recorded in the Sierra Nevada.
Nearly one year ago, a small fire near the Tuolumne River just west of Yosemite National Park grew into the largest blaze ever recorded in the Sierra Nevada. By the time the Rim Fire was contained in late October 2013, it had burned over 400 square miles, forever changing lives and the landscape. Today many residents and county officials are still frustrated by the investigation and are searching for answers.
Randy Hanvelt remembers the moment last year when a small wildfire in Tuolumne County a year ago became a raging inferno.
This week on Valley Edition we take a look at the Rim Fire one year later. KVPR reporter Diana Aguilera reports on the fire and the investigation around who started the blaze. Peggy Mosley, the owner of the historic Groveland Hotel, who kept her hotel open during the Rim Fire joins host Joe Moore for a talk about how volatile the region is to fire.
It's been nearly one year since the Rim Fire destroyed a vast swath of the Central Sierra, including a portion of Yosemite National Park. Within days of the fire, authorities told the public they knew the cause of the fire, and who did it. But after months of waiting, no charges have been filed, no suspects have been named, and residents are demanding answers. In this Rim Fire timeline we look back at the fire that became the largest ever recorded in the Sierra Nevada.
Fires in the Sierra Nevada are a natural phenomenon, but with human sparked blazes - like this summer's Rim Fire - the ecology of the mountain range is in flux. Will the high country scorched this summer ever return to its natural glory or will the region of the forest be littered with shrubbery? In this report Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero takes a walk through multiple groves scorched by fires - caused naturally and by the human hand - and speaks with ecologists about the future of the forest burned by the Rim Fire.
This week on Valley Edition we explore emerging California politics with Fresno State Political Science Professor Thomas Holyoke. Valley Edition Host Joe Moore speaks with Holyoke about immigration reform and more.
Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 3:31 pm
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The massive wildfire burning near and in Yosemite National Park is still growing. It has now charred more than 180,000 acres of scenic forest, which makes it one of the largest in California history. At this point, it is still only 20 percent contained. Thousands of firefighters are working hard to improve that number and corral the flames. But as NPR's Nathan Rott reports, this is no ordinary fire.
The Rim Fire is now the seventh largest wildfire in California history, growing to nearly 180,000 acres overnight. Over 3,700 firefighters are battling the blaze which is now 20 percent contained. It has destroyed 111 structures, with many more threatened. Late yesterday officials expanded the evacuation area, as the fire continues to spread to the east and southeast. Residents in an area from Mi-Wok to Pinecrest are now being advised to leave their homes.