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The fast-moving Valley Wildfire in Lake County has caused massive devastation overnight. It’s now at 62,000 acres and is only 10% contained. The fire’s destroyed at least 400 hundred homes with some counts higher than 500, but a count was being done last night. We will have confirmed numbers as soon as they are available. Dozens of businesses have been destroyed and 9,000 buildings are threatened. The fire had consumed more than 50,000 acres in the 24 hours after it started Saturday. Evacuations have been expanded and are being constantly updated on our Kwine facebook page and website. There’s a secure Lake County Fire Victims Fund through Redwood Credit Union with one hundred percent of donations going to help fire victims. Visit www.redwoodcu.org/lakecountyfirevictims

2 men in Ukiah have been arrested on drug charges. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Dept reports an officer on patrol conducted a traffic stop for a speeding car on Highway 101 in Ukiah and smelled pot when stopping Johnathan Russaw and Eddie Figueroa. The officer searched the car, finding about 8 pounds of processed pot and about $10,000.00 cash. The duo arrested and booked into the Mendocino County Jail held on $30,000.00 bail ea.

Reports of scammers targeting people evacuating their homes due to the Valley Fire. Napa and Lake County officials say callers claim to be a news crew and ask for victims’ addresses through social media. The scammers claim they’ll check victims’ homes but will use the addresses to rob the evacuated homes instead. Residents advised not to give out their addresses online.

Orange County firefighters joining the fight on the Valley Fire. The Orange County Fire Authority has sent 70 people, a helicopter and five engines to help in Lake County. Officials say they’re happy to help, because they know they’re going to need help from Northern California firefighters when dangerous wildfires break out in Southern California.

Famous for its tranquil setting, Harbin Hot Springs is no more. The clothing-optional resort with soaking pools in Middletown has been destroyed by the Valley Fire. Power poles and wires collapsed along Highway 109 so firefighters were blocked from getting into the area northeast of Middletown. One reported hiked in past downed electrical lines Monday to grab pictures, which can be seen on the San Francisco Chronicle website at S F Gate dot com. Dead fish were seen upside down in the koi ponds and piles of debris were burning and smoldering. Hoberg’s Resort, a 19th-century lodging, spa, and popular wedding destination in Cobb is also gone, destroyed by the Valley Fire.

Teams are rolling out to homes in burned out areas to assess damage and say it could take up to five days. The Red Cross Safe and Well website will have information for the public to help notify friends and family who may not know if you’re safe. You can long on and list yourself by clicking the "List Myself as Safe and Well" button at the Red Cross Safe and Well website: https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php Please visit our radio station website or facebook page for that link. The site also allows a search for folks who may have been affected too, click the Search Registrants button.

Any evacuated residents who want to check on their pets or animals can call the Lake County Animal Care and Control at (707) 263-0278.

Red Cross letting residents who’ve been evacuated and in need of critical medication know they’ve got registered nurses and licensed mental health providers at all their shelters. They can set you up with 3 day prescriptions to be filled at nearby pharmacies. All info available at: www.lakecountylac.com.

If you have interested in volunteering to help with the Valley Fire you can register with North Coast Opportunities online at www.ncoinc.org. Click on Lake County Valley Fire Volunteer/ then Most Recent Opportunities and click Apply. You’ll be contacted if a need arises that meets your availability and skillset. Any monetary donations can be made too through the North Coast Opportunities / Mendo Lake Credit Union / Lake County Wildfire Relief Fund. See this radio station website for the link to make a donation and the street address of 3 locations where you can do so…

Payments may be made online at http://www.lakecountylac.com/donate-now.html and checks may be made out to Mendo-Lake Credit Union or North Coast Opportunities with a memo for Valley Fire 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

A man from Berkeley found guilty of moving more than 130 pounds of processed marijuana has been sent to prison for 2 years. The Mendocino County DA’s office reports Abraham Norton convicted in April of 2013 for money laundering and conspiracy to illegally distribute marijuana. While his case was pending, he was arrested in Mendocino County a couple months later for transporting 137 pounds of pot, then again in Sonoma County of moving 31 pounds. The judge denied an application for probation but split his confinement to 8 months in custody and 16 months on mandatory supervision.

A mistrial’s been declared in the case of a man accused of molestation of a child under 18. The Mendocino County DA’s office reports the jury announced it couldn’t reach an agreement on Jose Manuel Ramirez Carmona’s case. The man from Santa Nella was charged with two counts of annoying or molesting a child and indecent exposure. There will now be a post trial review to consider a new trial. The California Highway Patrol office in Ukiah arrested the man.

The Booster President for El Molino High School reports Middletown High and El Molino have canceled the game Friday. Per the Record Bee Facebook page as many as 10 Middletown High staffers have lost everything due to the Valley Fire. They are looking for gift cards for sports supply stores like Big 5, Sports Authority, and Dick’s Sporting Goods because of all the athletic gear lost. To send donations, visit our radio station Facebook page or our website or see the note at the Record Bee Facebook page too.

Send donations to:
El Molino Boosters
7050 Covey Rd
Forestville, CA 95436
Make a note that it is for Middletown Mustangs

Also noted on the Record Bee page, Minnie Cannon Elementary, Minnie Cannon Preschool, Middletown Middle School, Middletown High School and Cobb Elementary School are all still standing.

Five injuries have been reported due to the Valley Fire and one fatality. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office reports an elderly, disabled woman unable to leave her home on her own died. The Sheriff’s Dept. reports getting a call by Cal Fire for evacuations and going out to help folks. They were inundated with calls Saturday afternoon, a call to assist the woman out of Cobb off Hot Springs Road was too late due to subdivisions overtaken by fire.

Assemblyman Bill Dodd of Napa, whose district includes Lake County is thanking first responders and residents for helping with the response. Lake Co News reporting closures of Highway 29 in and around the fire area are still in effect for the general public, including evacuees. The Lake County Air Quality Management District reported air quality was improving across the county to good levels in most areas, compared to the “unhealthy” and “hazardous” levels Sunday.

Some vintners in Lake County in recovery mode after the fire plowed thru, destroying at least one winery, some vineyards and worries about this year’s harvest. Shed Horn Cellars, a winery just outside Middletown is gone and its owners lost their home. Their tasting room is still standing though and there’s some inventory too, enough to fill orders. Some damage as well to Langtry Estate & Vineyard, the most noted in the area. The Valley fire the third fire this summer to hit the wine industry in Lake County. The Rocky fire in July and Jerusalem fire in August also sent smoke and ash over the region, but there wasn’t damage to any vineyards.

A woman who says she was the caretaker of the elderly woman said to be the first fatality in the Valley Fire, was that she didn’t need to leave her home. The Press Democrat reports Barbara McWilliams caretaker called Saturday during the first hours of the fire saying she was fine at home and knew someone would get her if she needed to leave. Jennifer Hittson of Kelseyville regularly delivered groceries, cleaned house and other chores for the former teacher. A neighbor had also offered to bring her to Middletown, but says McWilliams declined. A body believed to be McWilliams’ found in her home at the end of the Hot Springs Road. She had advanced multiple sclerosis and could not walk.

Most public schools still closed but hopes of some opening by tomorrow. Lake County public schools are closed again today because of the Valley Fire. The county Superintendent of Schools says they’ll start to open schools furthest from the fire first. Officials in Lakeport, Upper Lake and Lucerne were preparing to reopen schools tomorrow. Just over 2,600 of the county’s 9,100 public school students attend those schools. Schools in Kelseyville and Lower Lake are staying closed thru the weekend. The Middletown district’s five schools — and Coyote Valley Elementary in Hidden Valley Lake — all survived, some with minimal damage.

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