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The Rocky Fire near Lower Lake has had explosive growth, starting at 150 acres Wednesday afternoon to more than 13,000 as of late last night. There are expanded evacuations for Spruce Grove Road, north of the intersection with Jerusalem Grade Road; Noble Ranch Road; Jerusalem Grade Road; and Cantwell Ranch Road. That along with mandatory evacuations in the Lower Lake area for Morgan Valley Road, east of Bonham Road. The Highland Senior Center in Clearlake on Bowers Ave. is the place for folks to stay. Plus Middletown High is also being used as a shelter location. Animals can be taken to the parking lot of the Department of Social Services off of Highway 53 in Lower Lake. All summer programs in Lower Lake, Hidden Valley Lake and Middletown are canceled until further notice. The Lake County Emergency Operation Center has also been activated. For more information a phone line’s set up at 263-2360 and emergency services is posting updates on their Lake County OES Facebook page. You can also visit this radio station’s website for updated information and see our Facebook page too.

The mandatory water conservation in California is working… big time. Regulators say Californians followed directions in an unprecedented way, cutting back water use 27 percent in June. The State Water Resources Control Board says 265 of 411 local agencies in the state hit or nearly reached savings targets after Governor Brown ordered a 25 percent mandatory cut back because of the drought. The month of June would also normally mean more water use as it was the hottest June in state history. Reports released by California’s largest cities, including Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose and San Francisco showed strong water conservation.

Several outbuildings and at least three homes have destroyed by the Rocky fire and 650 people have been evacuated as the fire blackens more than 13,000 acres. The fire started Weds afternoon around 3-30 and blew up quickly to a thousand acres, then seemed to grow a couple thousand acres every few hours. Cal Fire has ground crews and help from the air. They’re working on containment which was last said to be 5%. Mandatory evacuations in place for residents in the Morgan Valley area where the fire is burning in rugged, steep, difficult terrain to access, there’s heavy brush and timber. The fire in the Cache Creek Wilderness Area and BLM Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument Area. 650 people had been evacuated as of lunchtime yesterday. There are two evacuation centers open – Highland Senior Center, 3245 Bowers Road, Clearlake and Middletown High School, 20932 Big Canyon Road, Middletown. There’s also an animal evacuation center at the Lower Lake Social Services parking lot.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors says it’s going to investigate possible mortgage fraud. The vote unanimous by the board to get deeds and documents from residents after a hearing with Attorney Allen D. West from Redondo Beach. The board looking for potential deficiencies and forgeries, with the help of county staff and West they’ll then present anything found to the Lake County District Attorney’s Office. They’re looking for fraud in any foreclosure cases which has been alleged by several residents in the county.

A new report shows California listed as one of the worst school systems in the country. The study by the personal finance website WalletHub which lists California as having the 9th worst school system in the country because of low reading and math test scores, a high dropout rate and the worst score in the country for student teacher ratio. The site looked at SAT scores, the percentage of grads to finish an AP exam and overall safety. The state was 49 out of 51 for safety. The best school system? Massachusetts, which had the highest math and reading test scores and lowest bullying rates.

The governor by default, has approved parole for one of three men found guilty in the 1976 kidnapping of 26 kids on a school bus who were held in a buried trailer. The Gov. had until midnight Thursday to approve parole for 63-year-old James Schoenfeld. He could sign off on it or send it back to the board recommending he be released, but the governor did nothing so the parole board’s decision is the final say. Schoenfeld, his brother, and a friend found guilty of the crime in 1976. They spent a year and a half on the plan to ask for a $5 million ransom for the kids. But the kids and their driver escaped, and the three kidnappers got life sentences. Schoenfield’s brother was released in 2012 and the other guy may have his parole hearing this fall.

Full on fire season throughout Northern California as fast moving winds whipped up several new fires and forcing people to evacuate. There are 14 huge fires, mostly up north with as many as 7,000 firefighters on the job. Cal Fire reports dozens of fires started Wednesday but crews were able to surround all but five. Cal Fire reports many were human caused and the drought gave them the fuel to burn super fast. The big Rocky Fire in Lake County helped by gusty winds and high temperatures. At least 650 residents had to leave their homes while the fire burned thru dry, dense brush and oak trees. The fire east of Napa Valley near Lake Berryessa is nearly contained. It’s burned more than a week and blackened almost 12 square miles in Solano County. About 136 structures were still threatened, and more than 200 people still under evacuation orders. The Wragg fire’s 80 percent contained.

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