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The fire off Pawnee Road in Lake County has grown again still, but so has the containment. The Pawnee Fire is now at 13,000 acres with 17% containment. The fire started Saturday afternoon in the Spring Valley Lakes subdivision and has blackened more than 650 acres in the Upper Lake Ranger District. 22 structures have burned, that’s 12 homes and 10 outbuildings, with four other structures damaged. Lake Co News reports there are mandatory evacuations in place still for as many as 1,500 residents and 600 homes in the Spring Valley Lakes and Double Eagle Ranch subdivisions. The news site reports the Red Cross shelter at Lower Lake High had about 26 overnight stays and served more than 50 meals. There are also more evacuees at the Clearlake Oaks Moose Lodge.

There’s now an advisory warning from the Colusa County Sheriff’s Office east of the Walker Ridge area, Wilbur Springs area, Bear Valley and Brim Road. The roads closed in Lake County:
• New Long Valley Road at Highway 20.
• Old Long Valley Road at Highway 20.
• Walker Ridge at Highway 20.
• Mule Skinner Road at Highway 20.

and in Colusa County:
• Bear Valley Road is closed at Highway 20.
• Bear Valley Road is closed at Brim Road.
• Leesville Lodge Road is closed at Brim Road.

The Bureau of Land Management is putting fire restrictions for public lands in place for several areas this week as fire season starts in earnest. The land the BLM manages in their Arcata and Ukiah field offices in Del Norte, Humboldt, Trinity, Mendocino, Lake, Sonoma, Napa, Yolo, Colusa, Glenn and Solano counties. The restrictions which go into effect tomorrow will continue until further notice. The fire management officer for the BLM in Northern Calif. says dry fuels and high temperatures have increased fire danger, so they need to minimize the potential for more fires starting. That means there can be no campfires or barbecues, unless it’s in a developed, posted campground or recreation site. They’ve also put other restrictions in place, no smoking unless in an enclosed building or car, no vehicles with certain engines off established roads or trails. Chain saws have to have spark arresters and can only be used until 1 p.m. daily and of course the safe and sane fireworks rules.

A local interim district manager’s been hired by the Ukiah Valley Sanitation District. This is to replace Joe Tait who resides in San Diego. So now Tait will occasionally consult on a pro-bono basis, and Mark Demeulenaere (Dem-uwl-uh-nair) of Ukiah will take over in the meantime. Demeulenaere was reportedly referred by the Willow Water District and according to the Daily Journal will get $90 an hour, which is $45 less than what Tait was getting. Some of the board members thought Demeulenaere didn’t have the exact qualifications needed, but had a strong finance background and that matters. So they unanimously agreed to bring him on at no more than 40 hours a week.

Another cannabis program manager is out in Mendocino County. The Daily Journal reports Cannabis Program Manager Kelly Overton suddenly resigned last Wednesday, only four months after starting. The position which was created last July has had a couple managers already. They’re supposed to help coordinate cannabis programs and manage cannabis strategies, policies, and programs for the county. The Daily Journal reports Overton was walking from Southern California to Mexico to raise money and awareness for refugees, but that was in a Facebook post and no other word on why he was leaving the job has been made public. The county’s agricultural commissioner also resigned before Overton after the interim agricultural commissioner announced her retirement.

Air quality is taking a hit due to the Pawnee Fire. The Lake County Air Quality Management District and county health department report smoke plumes are visible in Lake County in the overnight hours and most areas have light smoke or haze. There are some patches that might have “moderate” to “unhealthy” air for sensitive individuals. But the latest weather forecasts noted “Good” to “Moderate” conditions returning. They do warn however to be aware that smoke could settle into the area in the overnight hours until the fire is totally out. Right now the air quality is holding in the good range.

The latest gas tax and car registration hikes may be a done deal if voters give it the thumbs down in November. The Secretary of State has confirmed an initiative is making it onto the ballot for a gas tax repeal. It’s said to be a Republican backed initiative to get moderate voters to swing their way and encourage conservatives to get out and vote. Supporters say high gas taxes are one cause of California’s high cost of living. But Democrats and the governor say the tax raises $5 billion a year in revenue, needed to maintain roads and bridges.​

A man from Redwood Valley’s been found guilty of being under the influence of meth. The Mendocino County D-A’s office reports it took a jury less than an hour to find Michael Barnes guilty of the misdemeanor.

And the Sheriff’s office is searching for a man they say is wanted for battery with bodily injury. On their weekly Warrant Wednesday Facebook post, the Mendocino sheriff’s office posted a picture of Eugene Stone of Fort Bragg, who’s wanted on $50,000 bail. The 38 year old is described as 5’10” with brown hair, hazel eyes, weighing 220 pounds. Anyone with information on where Stone may be is encouraged to be in touch with the sheriff’s office.

A reminder about safety as the summer starts from the CHP. Lake Co News has the reminders posted online about summer driving safety. The patrol reminding good planning is the first step to make a trip safer for all, the driver, passengers, and other motorists. They remind that summer driving can be more dangerous because of people who are vacationing and don’t know the roads. They can create more traffic and drive unpredictably. There are also newer drivers out in the summer and there’s often road construction too. Check Lake Co News for your summer check list from the CHP.

Border authorities in Texas ordered by a judge in Calif. to quickly reunite separated families. The judge gave 30 days for some children to be brought back to their parents and 2 weeks for others. If kids are under 5 years old, ICE only has 14 days by order of the District Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego. She’s an appointee of the last Republican President President George W. Bush. She’s also put a nationwide injunction in place against future family separations, ruling it can only happen if a parent is deemed unfit or doesn’t want to be with the child. And the government also has to give phone contact info for parents for their children within 10 days.

As the Pawnee Fire and others burn across the state, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America is urging homeowners and renters who’ve been evacuated to listen to the warnings from local government officials, then call, click or text to get a hold of your insurer. They remind it’s time for your “Wildfire Reality Check”, in other words, focus in on the financial implications if you lose your home. This after historic wildfire losses in 2015 and 2017. They remind to make sure you know what’s covered by your insurer and to video your home inventory as a way to document all of your belongings in each room.

A woman in Louisiana’s been arrested after police say she damaged a Chinese restaurant because they supposedly got her order wrong. Police say 20 year old Jasmine Thompson was at China King in Slidell last week and got angry when her food wasn’t made the right way and started to toss utensils and sauces around the restaurant and yelled racial slurs at the staff. She’s a black woman. Police arrested her for criminal damage, disturbing the peace, hit and run and not having insurance. They say she ran into the owners car on purpose.

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