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The first week of August has been spent protecting crops for wine makers. As the Press Democrat reports many Lake County vintners are spending time clearing brush to protect their vineyards from flames and smoke that may wreck this year’s harvest. The paper reports wineries and vineyards have so far escaped the wrecking ball of the Rocky fire and there’s no reports of damage to the county’s wine industry. The president of the Lake County Winegrape Commission says so far damage is estimated to be minimal to none. Two wineries near Clearlake Oaks had to shut down because of the fire though because of a road closure.

The strike leader on the Rocky Fire is from Ukiah Valley Fire Authority. Division Chief Kirk Thomsen is said to be on the front lines of the fire in Lake County. The Daily Journal reports Thomsen is leading a 20-person strike team of Mendocino County firefighters from Hopland, Anderson Valley, Fort Bragg, Laytonville and Point Arena. They got the call to head to the Rocky Fire after first working the Queen Fire in Humboldt County and the Wragg Fire near Vacaville. The team started on Lake County’s fire Saturday and left Monday due to all of the fires across Calif.

The Cache Creek Natural Area is closed down because of the Rocky Fire. It is for the Cache Creek Wildlife Area and public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), including the Cache Creek Wilderness Area in the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument. There are other closures too including the Knoxville Wildlife Area and the Knoxville Recreation Area.

Police are searching for a man from Clearlake in connection to a check theft and forgery case. John Clemons accused of taking checks from a home in Petaluma then depositing them into a bank in Clearlake. Police say Clemons was identified by the victim. Police searched Clemons home and found a gun and ammo which he’s not allowed to have because he’s already a felon.. A warrant issued for his arrest for two counts of felony forgery with bail set at $15,000. More charges could be coming.

It’s been a long road, but after careful thought an announcement’s been made by Kermit the Frog, that he and his longtime partner Miss Piggy made the difficult decision to break up. They say they’ll continue their professional relationship working on TV and all other media, but their personal lives are now distinct and separate, and we will be seeing other people, pigs, frogs, whatever.

Police in a town in Massachusetts trying to partner with their enemy… drug dealers who want to eliminate their competition. The Charlton Police Department joking around on their Facebook page last week offering drug dealers a chance to provide information on their competitors by filling out a questionnaire. The office says their post was supposed to be funny, but they’d entertain any info that came their way.

A man from Manchester’s been arrested after a search warrant was served with police finding 94 pot plants and 18 pounds of processed pot. Sheriff’s Deputies and Wardens with the California Department of Fish Wildlife found evidence too that a "Butane Honey Oil" laboratory was in operation there too. They say it’s a process that can be extremely dangerous. Kenneth Elder was arrested for Manufacture of Controlled Substance by Chemical Extraction and booked into the Mendocino County Jail on $50,000.00 bail.

The Gov. Jerry Brown is coming to see with Rocky fire and visit with emergency officials. Brown declared a state of emergency in California because of several wildfires around the state. The latest numbers on the fire, just under 70-thousand acres burned, 96 structures charred, 43 residences and 53 outbuildings and eight other structures damaged. There are still just under 7,000 other structures in harm’s way and all evacuation orders and advisories are the same. The last few days the weather has changed, making it easier on firefighters to corral the giant fire which is now 30% contained. Cal Fire has pushed back the full containment from Monday to next Thursday instead.

There’s no lawsuit filed against the Environmental Impact Report for road improvements at the proposed Costco store location. The deadline has passed after the report came out July 1st. A lawyer who previously fought against the store opening was at a July 1st meeting on the report. But he’s not filed any new suits against the project. The deadline was Monday. Two Food Maxx employees who were trying to stop the project with the lawyer’s help have dropped out of the group Ukiah Citizens for Safety First.

The Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman says they’re hoping a new building can be put up near the county jail by the year 2020. Allman says the building could help isolate mentally ill and serious violent offenders so they’re away from other inmates in the jail. The Board of Supervisors Tuesday has unanimously supported that plan which also means trying to get up to $20 million in state funding. The Sheriff says 2 sections of the jail were constructed in 1985 and in 1991, but there’s no specific mental health space.

The big Rocky Fire slowing in its growth thanks to a couple days of cooler temperatures. The fire now in its second week. 43 homes have been destroyed and 52 outbuildings. Both those numbers nearly doubled in a couple days. As many as 1,200 people have been told they have to leave their homes and 10,000 others are standing by. About 150 community members have erected tents and parked campers at the Moose Lodge along Highway 20 north of Clearlake. The lodge is providing shelter, food and bathrooms for residents of Spring Valley. Firefighters working to keep flames away from that community.

Lower Lake High School has postponed the fall school start date due to the fire. The school announced on the Lake County Office of Emergency Services FB page that since some students have been displaced from their homes, they have postponed the start until Monday, Aug 17th. 11th/12th grade orientations are still today and Friday at 9:00 AM.

The Lake County OES has received many generous requests on how they can help. An account at Mendo-Lake Credit Union has been established to receive donations to aid in recovery efforts. Mendo-Lake Credit Union is accepting financial donations on behalf of North Coast Opportunities to assist with fire recovery efforts. Checks may be made out to Rocky Fire or North Coast Opportunities and dropped off or mailed to the following branch locations:

• 14866 Olympic Drive in Clearlake, CA 95422
• 953 11th Street in Lakeport, CA 95453
• 526 S State Street in Ukiah, CA 94582

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