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The Clayton fire that started over the weekend near Lower Lake has blown up. It started about 5 p.m. Saturday, and blew up to 1,400 acres and was 5-percent contained by Sunday morning. But as of late last night, the fire was at 3,000 acres with 4 homes destroyed. It’s burning in grassy oak woodland, with heavy brush and rugged terrain. Evacuation orders were in effect with several evacuation centers set up. Folks living on all of Morgan Valley Road to Butte Rock Ranch Road in Lower Lake told to leave.

No school in the Konocti Unified School District today. This due to fire activity so, Lower Lake High, Lower Lake Elementary, Carle, Konocti Education Center, Burns Valley, Pomona and East Lake

The Clearlake Highland Senior Center had to be closed as an evacuation center, because of a power outage. Other approved evacuation centers are open: Kelseyville High School – 5480 Main Street, Kelseyville; the Twin Pine Casino – 22223 Hwy 29, Middletown and the Seventh Day Adventist Church – 3500 Hill Road E. Lakeport. Those living in the area commonly referred to as the Chapman Tract, east of Highway 53 in the “Avenues" have been ordered to leave.

The Lake County Sheriff Brian Martin, also the county’s emergency services director – declared a local public emergency due to the disastrous conditions. Highway 53 was closed off to incoming traffic, only those who were evacuating could get thru. The fire on Morgan Valley Road and jumped containment lines. Patients had to be moved out of St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake to Sutter Lakeside hospital. The stretch of Highway 29 near Lower Lake has also been closed off.

Two homeowners working with lawyers after it was discovered their home is where the Valley Fire started. The couple, John and Cindy Pinch, claim they’ve not been able to get access to evidence taken from their property during the investigation into the cause of the fire that charred more than 76,000-acres. 4 people died in the fire and more than 1,300 houses and 27 apartment buildings were destroyed. A report released last week shows the fire started from improperly installed hot tub wiring. The couple rejecting the idea that it started at their house in Cobb.

Some suspicious looking powder has been found at Ukiah High School. The school district says employees showing up for work last Friday morning found piles of white and brown powder at the High School and Frank Zeek and Nokomis elementary schools. They say it may be out of frustration because of the cockroach problem. Ukiah Police and the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority and the Redwood Empire Hazardous Incident Team responded finding nothing dangerous with the substances. They discovered the white powder was baking soda, and the brown substance was instant coffee grounds.

One person from Covelo and 2 people from New Hampshire have been arrested in connection to a pot grow in Covelo. The sheriff’s office says it’s been in touch with the New Hampshire State Police for the murder investigation and found the New Hampshire State Police Narcotics Investigations Unit found marijuana was being shipped to New Hampshire. Deputies took a search warrant to a home and found almost 200 pot plants, processed marijuana and shipping materials. Police say upon further investigation they found a couple bought a home so their son could run a commercial marijuana growing operation. The son and his parents all arrested for cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale and for being armed during the commission of a felony.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Dept. reports a call about an intoxicated man so he’s been arrested. A concerned family member called about Adam Gabriel Azbill, who was also supposedly threatening his family members. Deputies went to Covelo, finding a man who matched Azbill’s description walking into oncoming traffic. He was caught and arrested, but on his way to jail, he spat on Deputies. He was being held in jail on $15,000.00 bail.

The new skatepark at Kelseyville Community Park is done. It’s been a long time coming, but the 9,000 square foot facility is open to the public. There’s a grand opening celebration planned for Wednesday morning at 9. The park features a quarter pipe return, 4 stair & skate rail combo, flat slate rail and much more. District 5 Supervisor Rob Brown will be at the ceremony Wednesday with special announcements.

2 people from Clearlake have been arrested in connection to a burglary. Police say Michael Adkins and Lorie Duvall were caught on video inside a house. A man called police to say he was watching the two in his house as he called. Police got to the house, and sent a canine officer, Zip inside, but there was nobody there. But after looking at the video, officers located the pair and went door to door looking for them. Adkins and Duvall found with stolen property and in possession of illegal fireworks. They admitted they were involved in the burglary and were arrested on charges of residential burglary, possession of stolen property, conspiracy to commit crime and possession of illegal fireworks and held on $50,000 each.

Vineyard workers in Mendocino County getting ready for the grape harvest season. More rain last winter has meant more grapes for most vineyards in the county compared to previous years. The demand for labor is reported to be higher too, and some vineyards tell the Daily Journal they think they could be short on workers. An average or below average crop yield is expected and some of the harvesting could start a week later than last year’s.

A group of sheep are getting some work… munching on weeds in the Lake Village Estates in Clearlake Oaks. The owner of the Estates says she reached out to a local farmer to see if she could get the sheep on the 20 acres of undeveloped property at the senior living community to munch on weeds. They say they’re taking extra fire protection this year. They also have fire survivors from last summer’s 3 devastating fires, living there.

A pickup truck crashes into a building in Ukiah due to a man having some sort of medical emergency. Ukiah Police report getting a call last Friday night to the Center For Life Choices where they found a white Chevy Silverado with bricks and debris on top of its totally smashed up hood. The building taped off and the city’s building official called in for a damage estimate. The driver taken to the hospital with unknown injuries.


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