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The Gov. Jerry Brown has been out to look at the wildfire damage in Butte County with federal officials. He’s also issued an executive order so it’s quicker for those seeking recovery after the deadliest and most destructive fire plowed thru Butte County. There was a briefing by the Governor yesterday in Chico attended by federal officials, including the U.S. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke, FEMA Administrator Brock Long and the state’s top fire and emergency management officials. The Governor also spoke to residents dealing with the Camp Fire and visited where Paradise Elementary School once stood. It’s one of more than 10,000 structures that burned in the fire. The executive order means expedited cleanup, the removal of fire debris; extending California’s prohibition on price gouging during emergencies; being able to use suitable fairgrounds and state properties for temporary housing of fire survivors; suspending any planning or zoning requirements and state fees for mobile homes and at mobile home parks to help those without a home. For more info, visit

A man in Del Norte County’s been arrested for an alleged arson. This after reports of a fire 1.5 miles away from HWY 199 on Siskiyou Fork Road. Kym Kemp reporting one deputy and firefighters went to the scene and doused the fire, they found five more fires, two active and a road nearby blocked off to prevent access. There they found a stolen car, from Ashland, Oregon. Evidence was collected and the next morning the stolen car was taken away. Then the next day more fires. A photo of a man who may have been connected to the stolen vehicle turned up and a hitchhiker matching the man’s description was found and arrested a couple days after the initial fires. Michael Lindauer wanted for some warrants and was on probation. He’s booked on several crimes including arson, vehicle theft and the outstanding warrants. He was being held in the Del Norte County jail.

56 people dead in the Camp Fire. The most deadly and destructive in state history. The fire’s acreage climbing, but so is its containment. Cal Fire reports the fire’s burned thru 140,000 acres. Nowhere near the amount charred in the Mendocino Complex, the largest fire ever in Calif. which burned this summer across 4 counties and charred more than 459,000 acres. The Camp Fire’s a week old and has taken down more than 8,600 homes and two hundred businesses. It’s 40% contained. 130 people are still missing and of the bodies that have been found so far, 47 have been positively identified. Rain is in the forecast next week, but right now it’s still dry and warm with low humidity.


Parking meters coming to downtown Ukiah. The City Council voted in favor of the meters. It comes after an ad-hoc committee came up with a plan for the meters in the downtown core. They’ll be located in front of free spaces and there won’t be any more permit-only spaces in the parking lots. The proposal approved last week to improve parking so the city can make some money on spaces located in front of businesses on School Street. The city’s apparently been losing money with some folks using two spaces downtown. The meters will be paid for with borrowed money. They city’s getting a $500,000 draw against future revenues from the parking district. That will pay for not only the new parking meters, but also lights, planters and new garbage and recycling containers.

More work on homelessness in Mendocino County. The Health and Human Services Agency met Tuesday on the matter, discussing the Homeless Mentally Ill Outreach and Treatment Program and the WholePerson Care pilot program. The Daily Journal reports that program will help find limited transitional housing support for those with mental health needs. The County also looking at creating a closer partnership with the Mendocino County Homeless Services Continuum of Care MCHSCoC which does administrative work and works with more than 20 agencies on homelessness in the County. They will come up with a plan of action to tackle homelessness and housing needs in the County, finding funding and programs to help.

Another tax hike proposal for a fire department may hit the next ballot in Lake County. The Lakeport Fire District Board of Directors is considering the hike just after the South Lake County Fire Protection District’s Measure L is behind in votes from the last election. It needed just about a half percent more. But of course it could change in the final tally. The Record Bee reports the Lakeport proposal is said to be a smaller tax though. It’s due to staffing cuts and a loss of revenue. The district is at three full time firefighters and three part timers. So the department is considering the tax hike to stay in the black. Tax rates outside the city haven’t gone up in 3 decades. They’ve not come up with how much of a hike in the tax rate they want.

Now 56 people are declared dead from the Camp Fire. 8 more bodies recovered in Paradise and the number of missing at more than 100. The Butte County Sheriff’s Dept. has identified 47 of the 56 so far. The latest findings were six people inside structures and two others, outside. They were still searching for remains with several cadaver dogs and hundreds of search and rescue personnel. Today the sheriff’s office is going to collect DNA samples from people who think they may have lost someone in the fire. 52,000 residents are still evacuated and more than 1,300 are in shelters. Some roads have reopened between Forest Ranch and Chico. The fire’s burned more acreage though, 138,000 acres now charred. The fire’s 35% contained. 8,756 homes gone. The fire now active east of Paradise Lake and growing near Big Bar Mountain on the east side of the North Fork of the Feather River, southeast of Pulga where it’s believed the fire may have ignited. There’s supposed to be rain next week which should help completely douse the fire, depending how long the rain sticks around.

A woman in labor at the start of the Camp Fire. The Mercury News is reporting Anastasia Skinner was waiting for help almost two hours while traffic jammed up in Paradise. The woman says she called her husband, who was elsewhere with their two sons and they said they final goodbyes, sure she would die waiting with thousands of other cars, as her contractions got stronger. She says she called 911 as her baby wasn’t due for a month more. So then she honked her horn and screamed for help and a man on a bike, a paramedic, a deputy and several strangers running from the fire helped her. The pregnancy, high risk, and supposed to be a cesarean. They helped her out though and rushed the woman to a hospital in Chico.

PG&E is speaking out after firefighter radio transmissions had announced there was a malfunctioning PG&E power line that might have been the cause for the Camp Fire. A woman who owns the town of Pulga said she got an email there might be sparks on lines near her home, which burned down in the fire. But now the utility company says it was actually a notification about upcoming work on a different transmission line in the email to her, not about any malfunctioning line. They were letting folks know they were going to be doing work on a transmission line which was de-energized and not operational when the fire started. A company spokesperson also says there’s been no discussion with any customer about sparks and PG&E infrastructure, and further says it’s a different line than one PG&E identified in its Electric Incident Report on Nov. 8, the day the fire broke out. There were downed power lines with flames under high-tension wires when firefighters arrived at the fire’s origin northeast of Pulga. The California Public Utilities Commission is investigating. PG&E stockholders have been selling off shares and trading stopped for the utility Monday as shares dropped more than 37 percent, but later leveled off.

PG&E’s stock devalued as rumors swirl the energy company could be to blame for the massive Camp Fire. The deadliest and most destructive fire in Calif. history. The utility reported it didn’t have enough insurance coverage if found liable for the fire that has killed 56 people and destroyed more than 8,750 homes. The stock fell by 37% Monday but leveled off at a nearly 20% loss. It fell about 7 bucks to $25.69. The utility reports it’s lost 47 percent of its value since the fire started last Thursday. It says they have 1.4 billion in wildfire liability insurance coverage for the year that ends July 31st of 2019. But apparently damage from this fire alone could add up to more than $15 billion. And a couple dozen residents of Paradise are suing the utility, blaming it for not maintaining its infrastructure and not properly inspecting its power transmission lines.

A man from Clearlake Oaks has died in a fight. Lake Co News reports the Lake County Sheriff’s Office is investigating how 54 year old Brian Smeltzer died after a fight. He was found in a car on Hoover Street in Clearlake Oaks. An autopsy will be conducted later this week.


A man from Lucerne arrested this summer after his roommate was shot has a court date. Michael Finnegan arrested in June for assault with a firearm but he says it was self defense. His lawyer saying there’s new info now on the victim. The two sides entering a stipulation into court records regarding certain evidence in the case. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office had reported they responded to a man being shot by his roommate and when they got there, they found Finnegan outside and the victim with a wound to his chest inside, saying Finnegan shot him. The man was expected to recover, but Finnegan admitted he shot the guy, because he felt like he was being attacked. Finnegan in custody on $175,000 bail with his preliminary hearing set for Wednesday Nov. 28th.

A man in Lake County’s getting mental health treatment after being accused of shooting his daughter to death in Hidden Valley Lake last year. Steven Miller reportedly sent to a Jail Based Competency Treatment Program in Sacramento for restoration of mental competency, basically so he can stand trial and understand the proceedings against him related to the alleged murder of his daughter, Hannah Welch in May of 2017. Back in March a court found enough evidence to try him for murder and evidence too, that he was mentally incompetent. That meant the court proceedings had to be suspended while he got treatment. He’s pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity on all counts against him, plus he denied the special allegations.

A new report says Latino students in California are doing better in higher education but colleges and state policymakers need to help more, to close an ethnic achievement gap. The Campaign for College Opportunity, a nonprofit came out with the report after Los Angeles called for reforms including more enrollment at 10 University of California colleges across the state and at 23 California State University campuses so there’s more enrollment of those with Latino heritage and to improve community college programs so more transfers are guaranteed for four-year-schools if students take the right courses, getting high schools to offer more college prep classes and bolstering state college financial aid.

Donations are being taken for those impacted by the Camp Fire in Butte County. The Mendo Lake Complex Fire Relief organization is helping, accepting donations in Ukiah for some families staying here. Volunteers are also driving donations to Butte County. 11 families have already been helped. Some of the items needed include, tents, warm blankets, thermal undergarments, air mattresses, pet food, pet beds, cleaning supplies and personal hygiene products. MendoLake Complex Fire Relief is on East Road in Redwood Valley, across from the back of the Redwood Valley market.

The latest budget report in Mendocino County has been presented to the Board of Supervisors. The First Quarter Budget Report for the 2018-19 fiscal year so the board agreed to amend the 2018-2019 budget. The latest budget for the period between July 1st through Sept. 30th. But the numbers could change by the middle of next year. The budget looks to spend on things like roads, more broadband service, new housing development, emergency services, and homelessness. The County CEO says they know more has be spent on broadband, but they don’t have the millions of dollars needed in the general fund. The board looking to focus on fiscal responsibility

Two people in Humboldt County apparently spotted great white sharks this week. Video of the shark sightings put on youtube. One of the sightings at Cape Mendocino and the other at the jetty in Humboldt Bay. One of the videos shot by someone out diving with a friend. The other out kayak fishing when the shark, described as the size of a Prius, got close. One marine expert says it’s common for sharks to swim the waters in the North Coast during the fall as they get energy and fatten up for a big migration.

A local group is pooling resources and has started a bulk food buying club. The Local Food Pledge group out of Green Uprising Farm reportedly came up with the idea so folks meet monthly to get their orders. The farm says they have about 70 members and their focus is small-scale bulk-buying, putting together a support network for local farmers and educating folks about the need to eat locally-produced food.

The Camp Fire growing and taking more lives. Now 48 people are reported as deceased and the fire continues to blacken land and destroy buildings. The town of Paradise has been nearly erased with the fire taking out 7,700 homes. There are still people missing, but no exact number. The Sheriff’s office brought in help for search and recovery. Several shelters opened, but quickly filled up, so more were opening. The fire has burned 130,000 acres and is 30% contained. In Southern Calif, two people were killed in Malibu due to the Woolsey Fire. The two fires are under investigation.

Air quality an issue because of the Camp Fire so several Lake County school districts are closed for the rest of the week. Kelseyville, Konocti and Middletown schools are closed and Lakeport Unified is closed today. In Kelseyville and Konocti Unified, they will remain closed until Monday, the 26th, after the Thanksgiving vacation. The Upper Lake Unified School District is staying open as is Lucerne Elementary. But Hance Community School and Clearlake Creativity School are closed today. Smoke from the Camp Fire was hovering in Lake County overnight with the majority of areas experiencing heavy smoke or haze and air quality was “unhealthy” to “very unhealthy”.

Lake County’s got holiday food boxes for people in need. An effort from Lakeport Rotary, NCO Community Action, Lake County Hunger Task Force, Lake Family Resource Center, and the Lake County Record Bee working together to distribute boxes next month before the holidays. The boxes paid for from the Lake County Holiday Fund with funds collected last year during the holiday season and with a grant from the Lake County Wine Alliance. Umpqua Bank branches and WestAmerica Banks will collect money this year for next year’s fund drive. Those who want to register for boxes have to show a photo ID and proof of address. The several hundred who register get their boxes at a prearranged, assigned time.

A new commander has been named at the Clearlake office of the CHP. Lt. Randy England actually took over at the beginning of October after being the commander of the Garberville office the last two years. The last commander in Clearlake retired in August. England worked in San Francisco Area for about a year and a half, then it was off to Ukiah where he handled several positions, before heading to the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force.

A regularly scheduled town council meeting happened in Paradise days after the town is practically decimated by the Camp Fire. All of the council members have been impacted, losing their homes. The council meeting was focused on rebuilding. Utilities, homes, and businesses were destroyed and there are still people reported as missing. The city will probably need a new sewer system because it was still on septic tanks. The Paradise Unified School District is meeting today to discuss when kids can get back to school. They lost three school buildings in the fire.

Animals filling up shelters in northern California due to the Camp Fire so volunteers are looking for their families. Volunteers from the North Valley Animal Disaster group went thru the tangled and torched homes to look for pets, then posted photos of them online.

Some of the people who lost their homes in Paradise are now suing Pacific Gas & Electric. The suit says they should win money from the utility company because it didn’t maintain its infrastructure and didn’t properly inspect or manage power transmission lines. More than two dozen fire victims filed the suit calling the cause of the fire the result of PG&E’s negligence, carelessness, recklessness, and/or unlawfulness. There’s been no cause determined, but PG&E told state regulators last week there was an issue with a transmission line in the region of the fire just before it broke out last Thursday. And as we reported yesterday, a landowner near where the fire ignited said she got a notification from PG&E saying they had to access her property because utility wires were sparking.

The owner of the tiny town of Pulga says PG&E sent her a letter that they needed to access her property because power lines were causing sparks. The Press Democrat reports the Camp Fire started near Betsy Ann Cowley’s property. Now fire investigators have declared the area around the power lines on her property a crime scene. And apparently security guards are not allowing PG&E inspectors in. Cowley says she was on vacation when the email came and she told the Associated Press about her experience. Firefighter radio transmissions and an alert sent to state regulators may be a clue too. The Bay Area News Group reports firefighters found downed power lines and the fire moving quickly under high-tension wires northeast of Pulga by Poe Dam. The California Public Utilities Commission is also investigating.

The Governor says the White House approved California’s latest request for a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration. It was submitted this weekend for fast emergency response to the fires in Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura counties. The Governor says it’s a time of sadness, but the state’s resolving to pull together to do everything possible to help those in need.

And speaking of that the SBA is at the ready to provide low cost loans to California businesses and residents affected by the disasters in Butte, Ventura and Los Angeles counties from the fires that all broke out November 8th. Disaster loans of up to $200,000 are available for homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. And renters can also take out loans. Businesses can get up to $2M dollars. Interest rates are as low as 3 and 3/4 percent for businesses to 2 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years.

A teenager has been identified as the driver of a car that crashed in Hopland, killing him. 17-year-old Brian Mendoza of Boonville died last Friday afternoon after crashing into a couple of oak trees. The CHP says he was just north of Hopland then his 2016 Honda Accord came off the road and crashed into the trees. Officers say the impact of the crash nearly split the sedan in half and that it tore the roof off the driver’s side. They’re investigating how fast he was going and if it’s possible either alcohol or drugs were a contributing factor. He was driving on Old River Road, a two-lane rural road that runs along side Highway 101 from south of Hopland north to Ukiah.

The emergency homeless shelter in Ukiah’s opening. There are 35 beds there, but they’re all already taken. More beds are on the way to the shelter, so they can add about 9 more, for a total of 44. Evenings are getting cold though, it got down to 23 degrees Sunday morning, setting a record from 1978 when it was 25 on the same day. Those who need shelter can head over to Plowshares after 11 am, for only one hour though. Anyone registering will be in their system moving forward. Staff will help them with a housing plan.

The Camp Fire in Butte County has now hit a devastating mark, the deadliest in Calif. history. Another 13 more bodies were found to bring the total dead to 42. The Butte County Sheriff’s Office has notified families and named three of the recently discovered dead. They were from Paradise, Concow and Magalia. The Sheriff is asking for more help for search and recovery, bringing in cadaver dogs, portable morgue units and more radio equipment. The fire has burned 4,000 more acres to reach 117,000 acres as of last night. It’s burned nearly 7,200 buildings and it’s 30% contained. There are 52,000 people still under mandatory evacuation orders and 200 people are still missing. The forecast for air quality is very unhealthy. The Butte County Board of Supervisors had a meeting set this morning to ratify a local disaster proclamation and a health emergency declaration.

The owner of the Town of Pulga says PG&E sent her an email the day before the Camp Fire started, saying they needed to fix something on one of their towers. Betsy Ann Cowley telling local media about the email, but there’s no word what the problem was. Firefighter radio transmissions and an alert sent to state regulators may be a clue. The Bay Area News Group reports firefighters found downed power lines and the fire moving quickly under high-tension wires northeast of Pulga by Poe Dam. Investigations are underway already by PG&E and Southern California Edison because of the Camp and Woolsey Fires. And the California Public Utilities Commission is also investigating. PG&E did send a letter to the Commission Friday that they detected an outage on a transmission line in Butte County, that was about 15 minutes before the Camp Fire started. And a day before SoCal Edison sent an alert to the Commission too that a substation circuit near the origin of the Woolsey Fire found a disturbance.

Lake County’s got a team going for a chance to be national champions in Cheerleading. The Lower Lake High competitive cheer squad is headed to nationals after getting fourth place in the JAMZ Battle at the Capitol in Sacramento this past weekend. The team had a high enough score to get them to the nationals in February in Bakersfield, then onto the JAMZ national championship Feb. 22-23 in Las Vegas.

A new principal has been chosen in the Lakeport Unified School District after the last one was demoted. Rachel Paarsch was demoted for unknown personnel reasons and Scott Johnson will fill the spot. He was last the principal of a middle school in Rohnert Park. He was first a teacher, then the assistant principal. His resume apparently includes working diligently on truancy and chronic absenteeism, something the schools in Lake County have an issue with. Some in the audience were hoping the board would wait for three new board members who were just elected.

Long term housing already a problem in Butte County, now is made much worse with the Camp Fire. Almost 6,500 homes have been destroyed in the massive fire. The executive director of Butte County’s Housing Authority says they were already facing a critical need with low vacancy rates. 15 percent of housing is gone from the Camp Fire. It may take years to rebuild, in Chico alone, they’re putting up about 600 units a year, at that rate, it would be more than 10 years for enough new housing for those displaced by the fire. Some folks don’t have a business or job to go back to, as many commercial buildings have also burned.

Fresh-caught Dungeness crab could be on the menu for Thanksgiving. The commercial fleet is preparing for the fall season, which starts this Thursday. State regulators have opened up the main fishery on time this year, but only out north to Bodega Head. That’s because there’s another round of tests that have not come back from the mouth of the Russian River yet after one was found with elevated levels of domoic acid. A week later a six crab test came back within limits, so another round of tests was needed. The fishery normally opens by November 15th.

A major national disaster declaration has been approved by the President due to the fires in Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura counties. The Gov sent a request for the presidential major disaster declaration Sunday. Governor Brown says fires are threatening life. The declaration means impacted counties can have access to crisis counseling, housing and unemployment help and legal services. There’s also help for the state itself, tribal and local governments for ongoing emergency response and recovery including repairing or replacing disaster-damaged facilities and infrastructure, like roads, bridges and utilities.

Police in Lakeport continue investigating how a fire started in an apartment building this past weekend. Part of the Bel Aire Apartments on N. Main St. were on fire so the entire complex is closed. Investigators on site all day yesterday, but they’ve not said if they found a point of ignition. The complex had a lot of damage so it’s unsafe for anyone to live there. Some folks have contacted the Red Cross, and anyone who needs help can call City Hall. Those trying to get into the building could face arrest. The city says it’s in touch with the Red Cross and will advise anyone there of any new changes.

Cal Fire’s reporting fires due to gusty winds and low humidity. Wind speeds were less by midday today, but afternoon humidity is low and another round of strong Santa Ana winds in the south will go through till Wednesday morning. In Southern Calif. there’s another strong fire. And strong winds shifted toward San Diego County. They expect low relative humidity for most of Southern California the next three days and shifting winds with slightly cooler weather by the end of the week. The agency also expecting northeast winds of 20- 25 mph with gusts up to 50 mph in Sierra Foothill valleys thru today. They warn if there’s a fire near you, don’t wait to evacuate, be prepared to leave early.

A new report says both nature and humans are to blame for devastating wildfires in Calif, but fire scientists say it’s not due to forest management after President Trump tweeted about it. The winds are whipped up by nature and human-caused climate change is killing plants and trees. The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research reports natural factors and human-caused global warming effects fatally collude. And a University of Utah fire scientist agreed separately saying there are several reasons for fires being so severe nowadays, but adds, “forest management wasn’t one of them”. This comes after the president tweeted there’s no reason for the massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. He also said billions are given each year to the state.

The Camp Fire has tied with a fire in Griffith Park in the 1930’s to be the deadliest fire in Calif. History. 29 people have been killed. There are still several people evacuated and roads are closed. Firefighters were working aggressively against flames as the town of Paradise is nearly gone altogether. Everyone in that town, Magalia, Concow, Butte Creek Canyon and Butte Valley were all evacuated. There’s a community meeting happening now at the State Theater in Oroville for those impacted. New evacuation centers are opening as many are full. The Camp Fire started last Thursday morning in the Feather River Canyon off Highway 70 and engulfed Paradise taking out more than 6,450 homes and 260 commercial buildings. The fire has burned 113,000 acres and is 25% contained.

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7 men in Clearlake have been arrested after a search warrant is served and police find several hundred of pounds of marijuana and weapons. Edi Avila-Castaneda of Clearlake, Alejandro Cortez-Cornejo of Clearlake, Edgar Garcia-Ramirez of Clearlake, Gilberto Ramirez-Pineda of Clearlake and Roberto Villasenor of Atwater all detained, then a seventh man tried getting away out a window, Jesus Aleman-Sosa, but he was caught. Police say they also found an assault rifle, body armor, hi-capacity pistol and rifle ammo, military clothing, equipment, and firearm components,. They found marijuana greenhouses, four pounds of meth and more marijuana. The seven all booked into jail on multiple charges including possession of controlled substance for sale, possession of narcotics for sale, committing a felony while armed and possession of marijuana for sale.

A young man in Gualala arrested for attempted murder and assault against his father. Police say they got a call to a report of a gunshot victim, finding Eugene Henderson. The person who called in the shooting reported 18 year old Acea Henderson shot his dad after an argument which got heated. Deputies say the younger Henderson also broke out a window to his dad’s car, got a gun and shot his dad in the upper chest. Another family member took dad to the hospital and hid the rifle. Dad’s reported in stable condition. Then deputies were called back to the home for another assault, but the father was not prosecuting. Acea was found and arrested anyway and charged with attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon and held on a bail of $250,000.

Trash being picked up along Orr Creek turns up signs of a homeless encampment. The trash pickup below Low Gap Road where there was a cooking pit found, piles of clothes, food containers, toys, batteries and other trash. Pac Out Green Team organized the cleanup. The encampment found by mistake. 2nd District Supervisor John McCowen also apparently cleans the area with and without organized cleanups.

The Mendocino County Child Support Services Department is getting a makeover. The Daily Journal reports some of the proposed changes would include getting an assistant Child Support Services director; adding and deleting other positions and getting approval to lay off a full-time chief child support attorney, and sharing some services with Sonoma County. The shared services agreement would include legal services. The county’s reportedly looked at Mendocino’s caseload and was confident they could cover it too. There would also be no financial cost to Mendocino as the state picks up the tab.

An official Wreaths Across America wreath-laying ceremony at Ukiah Cemetery. Not happening today on Veterans Day, but instead, December 15th. It’s one of the 1,400 other locations across the country for National Wreaths Across America Day. The local event in coordination with local 4-H clubs and volunteers for the Wreaths Across America mission of “Remember, Honor, Teach”. Some teenagers from 4-H representing the Ukiah Shamrocks and the Redwood Valley/Calpella 4-H Clubs are planning the event at the cemetery which starts at 9 AM.

The newest and most destructive fire in California history still burning. The Camp Fire has killed 29 people. Massive fires burning in Northern and Southern Calif. for a total of 31 dead. The Butte County Sheriff reports nearly 230 people are missing too. There are ten search and recovery teams in Paradise, which was practically decimated Thursday. They’ve brought in a mobile DNA lab and anthropologists so they can try to identify victims. A missing persons call center was quickly set up and the Governor’s requesting help from the federal government. Winds were expected to die down today, but there’s no rain in the immediate forecast. Those with missing family members were being urged to register their names. More than 6,700 buildings were destroyed by the Camp Fire, almost all of those are homes. The fire is 25 percent contained.

The CHP continues their distracted adult driver campaign. A yearlong grant is paying for the program utilizing education and enforcement. The program with the help of the California Office of Traffic Safety. The program will have the CHP on at least 60 distracted driving enforcement operations and they’ll hold almost 500 traffic safety presentations across the state by the end of September 2019.

An apartment building in Lakeport has a lot of damage after a fire. The Bel Aire Apartments went up in flames last night. A local caught video of the fire and shows firefighters on the scene and cops knocking on doors to evacuate people. The fire was out, but then reignited inside the roof. The police department had shut down several roads surrounding the building on N. Main Street.

A wildfire in Butte County is spreading fast as conditions are ideal for fire, including low humidity and strong winds fueling the blaze that has charred 70,000 acres so far and destroyed over 2,000 structures. Just as over 20,000 people were forced out of their homes, local students have been forced out of class due to poor air quality. Lake County and Ukiah Unified school district schools closed today, while Ukiah Unified also reminded parents that Monday is Veteran’s day, so schools will be closed on Monday as well. Meanwhile a request for A Presidential Emergency Declaration was requested by Governor Elect Gavin Newsom in order to secure FEMA assistance for communities affected by wildfires. A Fire Management Assistant Grant has been approved.

Economic conditions in Mendocino County are good. That ‘s the conclusion reached by the Economic Development and Finance Corporation, which studied industries important to the county. There were some worries about agriculture, which lost 70 jobs over the last year, and Ukiah wine grape producers were having problems with smoke taint affecting sales as hundreds of tons of grapes were lost due to fires. Job growth was seen in the construction, healthcare and education sectors.

The process of counting votes continues. There are over 17,00 vote by mail and provisional ballots left to count in Mendocino County. For Lake County, there are just over 11,000 to count including vote by mail, provisional ballots cast at the polls on election day and conditional voter registration ballots cast at the elections office. California State Law allows for 30 days to count all the votes.

Members of the public interested in supporting local behavioral health services are invited to the Mendocino County Behavioral health Advisory Board monthly meeting on the 14th from 10am to 2pm in the Mendocino County Museum at 400 E Commercial Street in Willits. Those attending will have a chance to ask questions and provide feedback.

The Army Corps of Engineers announced this week that more water will be stored in Lake Mendocino over the winter to help improve water supply reliability and environmental conditions in the Russian River. This according to a press release put out the by the Corps that says about 3.8 billion gallons of extra water, or enough to supply over 90,000 people for a year could be stored through the end of February.

Authorities responding to a call about a possible marijuana grow operation in a Ukiah neighborhood found equipment used to make Butane Honey Oil while searching the home. The labs are highly combustible and have been known to explode homes. Ukiah Police also found evidence that the marijuana was being sold, along with $5,000 cash and assault weapons. 26 year old Trevor Cooper was booked into Mendocino County Jail on suspicion of manufacturing a controlled substance, possessing marijuana for sale and probation violations.

After being in Mendocino County for years, The National Alliance on Mental Illness opened their first office, with a mission to educate, provide support and advocate for residents of Mendocino County suffering from mental health issues. The services will be free, and include meeting spaces, support groups. The site will also be staffed. There is a library with books and DVD to help educate the community. In the future, the organization hopes to launch a helpline for residents.