MOCCASIN – A quickly spreading wildfire forced evacuations from several communities near Highway 49 Thursday afternoon.
The “Moc Fire” was reported near the area of Highway 120 and Highway 49 shortly before 1:00pm. Initially, arriving fire crews reported the incident to be about three acres in size. By 7:45pm authorities reported the fire to have spread to about 1,700 acres.
The quick moving flames jumped Highway 49, consuming entire hillsides and forcing road closures and evacuations. At 3:41pm fire officials reported the fire to be moving East at critical speeds.
Mandatory evacuation orders were issued for several areas including Groveland and Pine Mountain Lake. An evacuation center was set up at the Mariposa Fairgrounds. By nightfall, caravans of vehicles towing trailers and RV’s could be seen fleeing the Coulterville area through Highway 132. Some vehicles were packed with belongings.
Authorities with the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office urged residents to not wait if they felt unsafe. Westbound Highway 120 was opened for evacuees, and the Sheriff’s Office said to exit the area through Yosemite National Park if people had to.
There was no word on containment of the fire early Friday morning.
Several Detained Near Homicide Scene
STOCKTON – Police have detained several persons of interest in connection to Sunday’s homicide.
Shortly before 5:00pm officers with the Stockton Police Department were involved in a vehicle pursuit in the area of West Lane and Knickerbocker Drive. The area is near where a 20 year old man was fatally shot Sunday afternoon.
Officials said they had detained several persons of interest in relation to the case.
The shopping center where Sunday’s homicide took place has been the location of previous shootings and at least one more homicide this year.
Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the Stockton Police Department at (209) 937-8377 or Crime Stoppers at (209) 946-0600 where callers can remain anonymous.
First lunar eclipse of the year visible across the valley
RIPON – The lunar eclipse takes place only during a full moon when Earth is in between the sun and moon, casting a shadow on the surface of the moon. The bright colored moon which attracts spectators is only seen once every 1.5 years, estimated by NASA.
The lunar eclipse was estimated to begin its deep penumbral stage at 7:15pm on May 15, 2022. By 7:59pm it should have reached the 50% partial stage. Totality began at 8:29pm and the full color everyone was waiting to see occurred at around 9:11pm. That rare sight began to end by 9:54pm. It was 50% partial by 10:23pm and reached its deep penumbral stage by 11:10pm where it ended.
Weather for the total lunar eclipse in some areas caused some to miss out on the rare occurrence. In Ripon and Stockton light cloud coverage crossed the mid stages of the eclipse. Meanwhile in some Modesto areas it was visible. National Weather Service estimated the temperature to be in the mid 60s to upper 70s for the valley.
Although a total lunar eclipse occurs only around every 1.5 years, your next opportunity to see it again will be November 7th 2022 going on to the eighth.
Stockton Police Investigate Homicide
STOCKTON – Police investigated the fatal shooting of a 20 year old man Sunday afternoon.
Shortly before 5:00pm, authorities responded to the area of West Lane and Knickerbocker drive for a report of a person shot. Arriving officers located a 20 year old man who had suffered at least one gunshot wound. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Detectives responded to the scene to investigate the shooting, however no suspect information or motive was available.
The area has been the scene of at least two other shootings this year, one of them fatal. At least one business in the shopping center appears to have since closed after the shootings.
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