UPDATE 6/21/18 — The burn is on for June 21.
UPDATE 6:20 p.m. — CalFire has CANCELLED their plan to conduct a controlled burn at the Coyote Valley Dam. At 6:00 p.m. CalFire sent out a press release announcing that they will NO LONGER being conducting the controlled burn that had been scheduled for Friday.
Now for a moment of transparency: Though we received a notice from CalFire yesterday, saying that they planned to conduct a controlled burn Friday, we did not publish that information until this afternoon. We often do this in an attempt to balance the stream of news.
Our assumption is that people are busy and that when they see a small news item too far in advance, it won’t feel as relevant. We figured that by publishing this notice on Thursday afternoon, the article would most effectively spread through social media, reach the largest number of people, feel relevant, and actually be remembered. A lot of our scheduling inevitably revolves around our interaction with social media, because let’s face it, that’s where most of use get out news nowadays.
That means trying to pour out a steady stream of posts and updates through the day, rather than splashing it down all at once in an issue each morning, like in the old days. As newspaper people we are adapting to and learning about this new environment, and we are always open to comments, emails and suggestions.
We published the initial item at 4:50 p.m. today, so imagine our surprise when a little over an hour later CalFire announced that they had cancelled the whole thing. At that point the article had already been shared on Facebook 18 times. We quickly updated the article and headline, but sometimes Facebook won’t immediately update the headline article within their system. We did this instead of pulling the article, because it’s important to retain an accurate and transparent record of what we’re publishing — and because, with the article already shared so many times, the best way to get the new information our there is to piggy-back on the old article.
The reason I’m writing this here is to explain a little bit about the way breaking online news works, because another thing that we strive for is transparency with regard to how we report, produce and distribute the news.
One of the reasons we started The Mendocino Voice is because we thought that communities like Mendocino County also deserved the kind of up-to-the-minute and breaking reporting that the internet has brought to bigger cities and the nation. People today expect faster breaking news, and they want to see it on their phones. And that’s what we’re trying to do with the Mendo Voice, providing you these quick updates, along with more in-depth pieces.
So please, if you enjoy or are interested in what we’re doing tell us how we’re doing at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or comment on our Facebook page.
MENDOCINO Co., 6/14/18 — Smoke will probably be visible on Friday evening if you live in the Ukiah valley or Redwood Valley due to a controlled burn that will be conducted by CalFire at Lake Mendocino from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Coyote Valley Dam and the fish hatchery area will be closed to the public and the safety of firefighters and residents will be prioritized.
The burn will be conducted to clear vegetation from the face of the dam in preparation for an upcoming inspection.
Here’s the full press release:
Mendocino County – On Friday evening, June 15, 2018, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in cooperation with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), will be
conducting a control burn at the Coyote Valley Dam. The control burn will commence at 5:00 P.M. and will last until 9:00 P.M. The smoke will be visible throughout the entire Ukiah and Redwood Valley areas.
The purpose of the control burn is to assist the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in removing the vegetation from the face of the Coyote Valley Dam allowing access and visibility for a required inspection.
Coyote Dam and the Fish Hatchery area near the base of the dam will be closed to the public. The burn will be conducted under very tight restrictions for the personal safety of firefighters and area residents. CAL FIRE reminds all residents that their safety is of the utmost concern.