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Lines continue to be cut by firefighters on the Pawnee fire but, the fire’s still only 5% contained in dry windy conditions. The fire started Saturday and quickly blew up and is now reported to have consumed 11,500 acres. The Lake County Board of Supervisors has ratified a local emergency declaration for the fire. And the Governor has declared it a major disaster, making way for the federal government to help reimburse up to 75% of firefighting costs. Mandatory evacuations are in place in the Spring Valley Lakes subdivision and the Double Eagle Ranch nearby. 22 structures have been burned and four others are damaged. 600 others are threatened and Cal Fire reports about 1,500 residents have been evacuated. Some road closures to report too, in Lake County, Old Long Valley Road, New Long Valley Road, Walker Ridge and Mule Skinner Road are all closed at Highway 20. And in Colusa County, Bear Valley Road at Highway 20, Bear Valley Road at Brim Road and Leesville Lodge Road at Brim Road are closed too.

Because of the wet winter, warming temperatures and recent windy weather, we’ve got fire fuels from drying up grass. Cal Fire is warning of increasing fire danger due to all of the dead grass and hotter, drier conditions so that means all burn permits in Mendocino County for outdoor residential burning are banned in the State Responsibility Area. That ban starts this coming Monday just after midnight, at 12:01 A.M. So all residential outdoor burning of landscape debris like branches and leaves will not be allowed. The Chief for Cal Fire says this year’s turning out to be just as volatile as last year. He warns the public not to let their guard down and to continue being involved in preparation efforts for upcoming wildfires. There have already been more than 2700 wildfires in the state since January. For more info about creating Defensible Space and how to be prepared for wildfires, and tips to prevent wildfires, visit

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