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Monthly Archives: August 2018

The latest update from Cal Fire puts the Ranch fire at 72 percent contained. Crews continue to battle both the fire and the weather, with the dry hot conditions in the steep rugged terrain. The main threat continues to be communities north of the fire perimeter.

Lake County residents have heard from CalFire and local officials about the fires. At a meeting on Thursday, those officials say they remain confident that the Ranch fire will be 100 contained by Labor day and that while the River fire is fully contained, crews are still working to make sure it doesn’t kick back up again. While the meeting focused on recovery, officials say they are urging people to be very careful as they slowly move back into areas that have been effected by the fires.

The state insurance commissioner has seen first hand some of the damage caused by the Mendocino Complex fires. Commissioner Dave Jones was in Lake County on Thursday, stopping at several burned properties and at local assistance centers set up to help fire victims. He admits insurance concerns will be high in the list of those who’s live have been impacted but he says his office will do everything it can to help out. Jones also says he has been impressed by efforts for those in need.

The state senate has paid tribute to the firefighter who died while fighting the fire near Lake Pillsbury earlier this week. State Senator Mike McGuire says the people of California owe a debt of gratitude to the family of Utah firefighter Matthew Burchett who answered the call of duty far from home. McGuire adjourned the senate session on Thursday with a moment of silence of Battalion Chief Burchett.

The wildfires here are effecting air quality across a large swath of north America. NASA’s Jet propulsion Laboratory says the noxious carbon monoxide gas from the fires is drifting east the air quality in several states. Satellite images show hazy smoky conditions reaching as far east as New York and Eastern Canada.

The ballot has been set for November’s City council election in Ukiah. There are 3 seats up for election and four new candidates, according to the County Registrar of voters. The candidates are Ed Haynes, Matt Froneberger, Juan Orozco, Chon Travis. Two of three incumbents, Jim Brown and Maureen Mulheren are also seeking re election. Mayor Kevin Doble is not running for another term.

The deadline for filing for November’s municipal election has passed and in Lakeport, there may not even have be a vote because there are two seats up and only two candidates. Mayor Mireya Turner and Councilwoman Stacey Mattina both have filed for re election and based on election law, the city council can simply re appoint them to new terms.

The Clearlake city council has voted to ban any new tobacco businesses in the city for now. The temporary ordinance blocks those businesses for at least the next 45 days, until a more permanent solution can be considered. City leaders say those new shops, including hookah and vapor lounges pose an immediate threat to public health. The mayor says the city needs a clear definition of what is allowed and where the shops can set up and council members say they will eventually re-write the zoning code to better regulate tobacco related business within the city limits.

No moratorium for now on new winery permits in Sonoma County. Supervisor Linda Hopkins says the county can’t impose a ban on new permits as it considers some new regulations on the industry. About 1,000 people have signed a petition calling for that ban until those new regulations can be drawn up, but Hopkins told a meeting on Thursday that even tough the residents are upset with some winery events , that isn’t enough to justify a moratorium.

No bail for a man on parole in Willits who was found on social media, even though he wasn’t supposed to be online. 25 year old Jonathan Hoppner was on parole from Sonoma county when he was arrested in Mendocino County and charged with violating the state’s sex offender law. He has several sexual battery convictions and is considered a high risk offender.

Local events are planned in the area for Suicide awareness week in September. Among them, the second annual suicide awareness walk, scheduled for the Mendocino College track on Hensley Creek Road September 8th from 6:00 PM to Midnight. There will be a remembrance ceremony and speakers before the walk begins.

Metal in the air this weekend for the 5th annual Redwood Metalfest in Ukiah. The event takes place Saturday from 12:30 PM until well after dark at the Alex Thomas Plaza. Organizers say they are excited about this year’s lineup. They say the show is a good deal because it is both free and in an accessible, public place.

Lawmakers are taking up two bills aimed at preventing the sale of new oil-drilling rights off the California coast. If the measures pass, the State Lands Commission would be banned from approving new leases for oil facilities in the three-mile offshore zone controlled by the state. The bills were filed in response to a federal plan to grant drilling rights at six ocean sites.

A bill to set up a state-backed banking system for the recreational cannabis industry has failed in the assembly. the Assembly committee handling it decided not to take it up, meaning the idea essentially dead for the year. Banks have been reluctant to do business people in California legal marijuana market because it is still illegal under federal law. The proposed bill would not have guaranteed that state-backed banks would be protected from federal law.

California lawmakers are debating a proposal to eliminate cash bail for defendants awaiting trial. The plan introduced yesterday would mean most suspects in custody for nonviolent misdemeanors would be released within 12 hours of being booked. Meanwhile, suspects facing serious, violent felonies would not be eligible for pretrial release. If the bill becomes law, California would be the first state to completely end bail.

Don’t blame me. It was the doctor and the drugstore. Thats the claim of woman in Oregon, convicted robbing a bookstore. She says the medicine she on caused her to go crazy and do the robbery. She is in prison but is now suing the doc and the druggist for 50 grand.

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A man from Willits has been arrested after a parole search on the high risk sex offender. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office got a call to a home where they found 25 year old Jonathan Hoppner who has several sexual battery convictions in Sonoma County, on parole in Mendocino County and not allowed to go on social media sites used by minors. But cops found he was on social media, which is a violation, so he has been arrested and booked into the Mendocino County Jail for that parole violation and is being held on a "no bail" status.

The Mendocino Complex fires growing again, nearly 1,900 acres more. The fires have now charred more than 366,000 acres. The larger of the two, the Ranch, the biggest to ever burn in Calif. burned another 1,892 acres overnight, and containment also went up though, from 67 to 69 percent. Firefighters working to spare homes, 1,205 of them still threatened, with 147 homes lost and 118 other structures. The battalion chief from Utah killed earlier this week was taken back to Utah after a procession to the airport from Ukiah yesterday. The River Fire is 100% contained, the Ranch Fire should be totally surrounded by Sept. 1st. It alone has burned more than 317,000 acres.

A couple who’s trailer tire which went flat is believed to have started the Carr Fire has reportedly been inundated with cards and letters of support so they don’t feel bad. The 81 year old man and his wife got the supportive messages after someone posted on Facebook about the couple. She apparently doesn’t know them but a firefighter who does says the woman blames herself and has been crying day and night. The fire destroyed almost 1,100 homes and killed eight people after a spark from a vehicle driving on a flat tire.

There’s a new Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) now for folks hit by the Carr Fire. It’s in partnership with the State of California’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for residents affected by recent wildfires. The SBA is also there as well as more state, local and federal agencies to help those impacted in Shasta County. Those impacted can also visit DisasterAssistance.gov or 711 on your phone.

A Mandatory Evacuation Order has been reduced back down to Advisory for Colusa County: Those from the town of Stonyford can go home. It’s including all areas to the east of Stonyford-Lagoda Road from the Glenn County line to Lagoda, including the Century Ranch and Lakeview Loop subdivisions. Some roads still closed though, those west of Lagoda Stonyford Road including Forest Road M10 and 18, Goat Mountain Road and Fouts Springs Road.

The body of a firefighter from Utah killed in the Ranch Fire has made it back home to Utah after a procession along the streets of Ukiah and onto the Sonoma County Airport. Draper City Fire Battalion Chief Matthew Burchett was killed by a tree as he worked the Ranch Fire Monday night. The procession from Eversole Mortuary yesterday afternoon with the Cal Fire Honor Guard which had been by Burchett’s body around the clock and on the entire journey home with his wife, brother and a family friend who flew on the Utah Gov.’s private plane along with members of the Utah Air National Guard. There were also members of Draper City Fire honor guard and the Salt Lake City Unified Fire Authority, where Burchett had worked for 20 years before joining Draper City Fire in May.

The Draper City Fire Dept. fire truck seen in front of the procession to bring the body of their fallen firefighter home. That fire truck apparently driven by the firefighter, Battalion Chief Matt Burchett to Northern Calif. earlier this month to fight the Mendocino Complex Fire with four of his colleagues. Burchett’s body brought down the streets of Ukiah to the airport in Santa Rosa to be flown back to Salt Lake City yesterday afternoon. There were fire engines on every overpass along the route. The other firefighters who came with Burchett are no longer working on the fire and the Draper Mayor says they’ll probably come back to Utah now.

Mendocino College getting back to near normal after evacuations for students, faculty and staff at the Lake Center campus. Some of the start dates of some classes have been pushed back a week, but the school is opening on schedule with registration and student services ready. They have more staff support so those who couldn’t register during evacuations will speed right thru. Some classes could be canceled if not enough students enroll, but the school says they’re putting out the call for more students to enroll. Some of the classes don’t start until after the Labor Day holiday, so there’s still plenty of time.

Marijuana businesses in Lake County could be fined if they don’t have the proper permits. The Lake County Board of Supervisors gives the green light for an ordinance to outline new fines for violating the Lake County Code for marijuana businesses without permits. They had their first reading of the ordinance already, so another is required before moving forward. That’ll happen next Tuesday. The penalties will be outlined in the ordinance which is a simple amendment to the county code showing unpermitted cannabis businesses what they’re up against. Violations tallied as a separate violation for each day the violation continues and will accrue until the violation is remedied. Then if it’s not taken care of within 30 days it becomes $1000 a day. And goes up from there.

A man in Lakeport charged with attempted murder for the shooting of another man he apparently thought was having a relationship with his girlfriend. The Lake County Sheriff’s Dept. reports Leonso Rangel admitted the shooting when detectives interviewed him. He pleaded not guilty after his arrest for the June shooting in Lakeport. The victim told police he was shot in the back while walking by his aunt’s house, where he ran for help. The victim id’d Rangel as his shooter, saying he thought he was shot because Rangel thought he was in a relationship with Rangel’s girlfriend. Rangel reportedly told detectives he wanted to scare the victim and wasn’t actually meaning to harm him. Rangel was being held on one million dollars bail.

The State Superintendent of Public Instruction says he’s putting together a team to work on Charter Schools. Tom Torlakson announcing the Action Team to get recommendations for needed changes to the next State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Governor, State Board of Education, and State Legislature. It will guide the future of charter schools as part of the California Charter School Act which has been in place for a quarter century, but hasn’t had many changes since then. Torlakson looking to update and possible revise the Act since the state’s population and student population have increased and demographics have changed and the education system is quite difference.

Twin bills to protect the coast in Calif. from off-shore drilling hang in the balance. State Senator Mike McGuire drafted one of the bills to stop the sale of new oil-drilling rights which might be happening by next year. There’s another bill in the Assembly too that mirrors McGuire’s. The two bills have to make it thru the Senate and Assembly appropriations committees today. If they pass they would stop the State Lands Commission from allowing any new leases for oil facilities, like pipelines, platforms or piers, in a 3-mile area off the coast controlled by the state. The Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke released his off-shore drilling plan earlier this year. State officials and as many as 65 cities and counties are against it.

More growth for the Mendocino Complex Fire, tacking on another 10,000 acres in a day. The Ranch Fire is now at 315,225 acres and is 67% contained. That containment number one step forward and two steps back lately, at one point hitting 70%, then creeping down to 64% just days ago. The River Fire is pretty much a done deal, staying at just under 49,000 acres, it’s 100% contained. The fires together have blackened 364,145 acres and destroyed 147 homes and 118 other buildings. There are still Mandatory Evacuation Orders in place above Potter Valley and for the Lake Pillsbury area. Plus newer evacuations for Glenn and Colusa counties. The fire said to only be growing and burning into the National Forest on the north flank of the fire.

Three men have been arrested after a former coworker of theirs at a marijuana farm was attacked. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office reports getting a call earlier in the week from Moises Calvillo-Chavez saying a former co-worker went crazy and had to be tied him up, but was then let go. Turns out the guy who called was one of the three arrested. And the victim was found walking barefoot with a broken wooden chair arm taped to his arm. He told police he had disagreements with the man who called them, and it became physical. Then he says that man, Calvilo-Chavez and two others came to the pot farm in Garberville. Calvillo-Chavez, Chad Canup and Salvador Martinez point a gun at him which malfunctions. So he got away. The three suspects arrested after cops saw evidence to corroborate the victim’s story. They’re charged with crimes including attempted murder, robbery and kidnapping, and were being held on $1.2 million bail each.

Two bodies found inside a burning car by Humboldt County deputies. The Sheriff’s Dept. gets a call to help the California Highway Patrol and Cal Fire after a vehicle fire and found two people dead inside. They say it looks like suspicious circumstances, but they’re investigating and will release more info after autopsies are conducted. They’re also reaching out to the public for help, if anyone may have seen something.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office reminding about the last day of the Local Assistance Center set up in Lucerne at the Lucerne Alpine Senior Center. Organizations including the Red Cross, North Coast Opportunities, Habitat for Humanity, Lake County Behavioral Health, Veteran’s Services and Social Security will be there. Anyone who needs food, help with medical care, pet care, debris removal, copies of vital records or driver’s licenses, or help with insurance can go to the Center.

California has been granted just over $99 million dollars for disaster recovery from the federal government. The offices of Congressmen Jared Huffman and Mike Thompson made the announcement earlier this week that the money will be spread out across the state, with some coming to Mendocino and Sonoma counties, the cities of Clearlake and Napa. The money comes from the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Relief program for the Oct. 2017 wildfires for those who still have unmet needs.

Two people have been killed in a head-on crash on the 101 in Redwood Valley. The CHP reports the crash at Reeves Canyon Road with a black 2009 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck and a red 2003 Subaru Outback with both drivers killed and no passengers on board either vehicle. The CHP didn’t release much more info except the driver of the Tacoma, a man headed south, and the driver of the Subaru was a woman heading north. They hit, ending up in the southbound lanes, closing the highway yesterday for about an hour.

Slow money making in Calif. for the newly legalized marijuana market. The latest report on marijuana cultivation and excise tax collections at under $50 million from April to June. It was up from the last quarter, but apparently not nearly what the state thought it would bring in. Finance officials saying California would bring in $185 million from excise and cultivation taxes the first six months after sales started, but that was way off, with only $82 million collected by midyear. Black market sales thought to be interfering still with the legal market and many areas have totally banned legalized marijuana sales.

A bunch of thefts being investigated in Georgia… some of Ramen. Fayette County deputies say they’re looking into the of thefts which include five car break-ins, a stolen motorcycle, and a rip off of Ramen Noodles, nearly $100,000 worth of Ramen stolen out of a big trailer that was parked at a Chevron store. It happened in late July, early August when the noodle freight was sitting, supposedly secured in the trailer.

The body of the fallen firefighter from Utah will be escorted by the CAL FIRE Honor Guard and his family from Ukiah back to Salt Lake City. Battalion Chief Matt Burchett was killed this week on the Ranch Fire when a tree came down injuring him and three others. He died at a hospital. The procession today starts at 2:30 at the Eversole Mortuary on Low Gap Road in Ukiah and will go to the Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa. They will head north on North State Street, to west Lake Mendocino Drive, head onto the 101 south, exiting on Airport Blvd headed west to the Sonoma County Airport. All those interested in viewing the procession asked to stay in a safe area and line the streets of Ukiah or Santa Rosa along the procession route. Don’t go onto the Highway. They ask for privacy for the family as well.

The Mendocino Air Quality Management District reports the River and Ranch Fires and other regional fires to the north are impacting some areas of eastern Mendocino and all of Lake County. Air monitors show particulate matter concentrations in the “Moderate” to “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” range. And inland communities and surrounding areas could have “Unhealthy” air quality at times in Hopland, Ukiah, Calpella, Redwood Valley, Potter Valley, Willits, and Covelo. The forecast shows high pressure and strong overnight and morning inversions, smoke impacts near the ground during those times but when the inversion breaks up, afternoon wind could bring more smoke to certain areas. So those in sensitive groups are alerted to take special care.

The Mendocino Complex is now up over 363,000 acres with more than 59,000 acres burned into Colusa County, 269,000 in Lake County, 25,000 acres in Mendocino County and 405 acres in Glenn County. There’s a community meeting set for tonight, starting now, as a matter of fact with fire officials in Potter Valley at the High School giving an update. As of now, we know the Ranch Fire’s at about 315,000 acres on its own, growing 10,000 acres in the last day or so and it’s 64% contained. It’s burning in the Snow Mountain Wilderness and the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument. They’re working to protect Lake Pillsbury and are mopping up hot spots in the the Rice Fork Homes and Pillsbury Lake areas where there are Mandatory Evacuation Orders in place.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office is investigating more than a dozen fires in the Round Valley area. The Sheriff’s Dept. says they got reports of as many as 15 separate fires north of Covelo at the time several larger fires were already burning including the Eel Fire, east of Covelo in the Mendocino National Forest and the Mendocino Complex. 5 of the reported fires started across from the Round Valley Tribal Gas Station and Store on Highway 162. 9 others along Crawford and Refuse Roads, and another near the intersection of Biggar Lane and Highway 162. Wooden fencing was destroyed and homes threatened. Now the Sheriff’s office says they were looking for a possible arsonist after a car was seen in the area. But upon further investigation, found a car dragging a trailer with an old chain may have started all of the fires. The case now closed and considered accidental.

The Ranch Fire has caused the closure of a big area of the Mendocino National Forest, including the entire Upper Lake Ranger District and part of the Grindstone Ranger District. The Forest Supervisor saying it’s necessary to close it off for public safety and for the safety of firefighters. There will be heavy firefighting work there and rehabilitation of the forest which could be hazardous to the public with falling trees and maintenance of fuels. They will have the area closed until hazards are removed.

In Glenn County an evacuation notice has been upgraded to Mandatory Evacuation Order. The area of Pleasant Valley in the Mendocino National Forest in southwestern Glenn County which then goes all the way out west to the Lake County line, south to the Colusa County line and north to County Road 308. Officials say residents should evacuate and visitors, hunters, and campers should not enter the affected area of the forest until the Order’s lifted and the area is deemed safe. Several roads are also closed. The say if you’re in the mandatory evacuation order area and need help with temporary shelter to call the Glenn County Sheriff’s Office.

The name of a firefighter who died fighting the Ranch Fire has been released along with the cause of his death. Battalion Chief Matthew Burchett of the Draper Fire Department apparently hit by a tree. They had a press conference in his home town yesterday, just outside Salt Lake City. Burchett had been in Calif. since August 2nd as part of a team of five firefighters sent to help with Northern California fires. He was reportedly fighting the fire downstream of Lake Pillsbury’s Scott Dam when a tree came down and hit him. Three other firefighters from Kings County were also reportedly injured. There was a Cal Fire strike team in the area from Sonoma, Lake and Napa counties trying to cut the tree away and help. The state flags have been ordered to fly at half-staff in Burchett’s honor.

As fires continue burning across the state lawmakers meet at the capitol to come up with ways to reduce fuels after more than 750,000 acres burned this year so far. A 10 member bipartisan committee is putting together a response to the devastating fire season. The Cal Fire Director spoke to the panel as did the state Natural Resources Agency secretary at the Wildfire Fuels Reduction Hearing. All agreed that reducing fuels would mean less intense fires. That would include thinning forests, prescribed burning, have residents establish defensible space around their homes and more.

The inaugural Russian River Pride Parade has been canceled. The parade planned for next weekend Aug. 25-26 will be next year instead. Apparently someone volunteering for the celebration did not apply for the proper permits in time. So seven months of planning has gone down the tube. Permits obtained last minute, but apparently the CHP was not available to monitor the parade and fair, which included closing down Fourth Street downtown.

After almost three weeks being closed, Yosemite National Park has reopened after wildfires broke out closeby. There was a warning for those planning to visit that there was smoke in the air and limited places to stay. At another National Park, this one in Montana, Glacier National Park had to evacuate several hundred people after at least nine homes and cabins went up in flames. Several historic structures reportedly saved though, the Lake McDonald Ranger station and the Wheeler Cabin, built by former U.S. Sen. Burton Wheeler’s family. The 20 day closure at Yosemite was during the busiest month of the summer…

The Mendocino Complex grew a bit, but not like the thousands of acres of growth we’ve been seeing almost daily for the nearly three weeks since it started. The complex is nearly at 355,000 acres now, and there’s been losses in containment. The fire was 70% contained before last weekend, then 68% after the weekend and now it’s back at 64%. The twin fire, the River Fire is 100% contained and held at 48,920 acres. The Ranch Fire alone has burned just under 306,000 acres. The fire headed north into the Mendocino National Forest. The fire has prompted new evacuations in Glenn County for the Pleasant Valley area of the Mendocino National Forest.

More vandalism reported in recreation areas around Lake Mendocino. The vandalism includes graffiti on buildings, trees, tables, gates, combination locks being cut, and signs and vehicle traffic counters being stolen over and over again. The Supervising Park Ranger for the Lake says it’s always been a problem there, but now there’s been an uptick the last month. It’s hitting the park budget too as they have to hire people to fix broken locks and replace equipment and hire contractors to fix toilets. The area even closed off for some time and they would do it again if they had to.

A teen in Vermont is running for Governor during his summer vacation. 14 year old Ethan Sonneborn is running as there’s no age requirement, plus residents there at least four years can run. He says it was a gut decision to run for office and thinks a new movement of leadership could do better. He says his campaign transcends age and that Vermonters should take him seriously.

The Mendocino Complex is now one huge fire, the Ranch Fire, as the River Fire is 100% contained. The River will still have firefighters on the scene patrolling to make sure there are no hot spots smoldering. But the Ranch Fire was still growing by thousands of acres to hit the 305,000 mark overnight. Fire crews continuing on the east and west flanks of the fire trying to protect Lake Pillsbury and Stonyford. Reports of difficult conditions and terrain with firefighters trying to wrangle the flames away from threatened communities and back into the Mendocino National Forest. The south side of the fire is in suppression repair mode with patrols keeping a close eye except for in the Lake Pillsbury area where firefighters were protecting structures in the Rice Forks area. They’re also trying to keep it away from Stonyford in Colusa County. The River Fire has stayed just under 49,000 acres for some time now, and is 100% contained and the Ranch Fire is holding at 68% containment. 146 homes and 118 other structures have burned and as many as 1,000 structures remain threatened. Besides the firefighters death, two other injuries to firefighters were also reported.

Another murder charge has been filed against the suspected Golden State Killer. Ex cop Joseph DeAngelo is now charged with a 13th murder for the 1975 death of a community college teacher shot and killed as he tried to stop his 16 year old daughter from being kidnapped in Visalia. Police say there’s physical evidence to link DeAngelo to the murder of Claude Snelling. DeAngelo’s charged with a dozen deaths in the 1970s and 1980s and also say they believe he’s the Visalia Ransacker, a burglar who hit more than 100 homes in the 1970s. DeAngelo’s also accused of about 50 rapes but the statute of limitations has expired for those and the burglaries.

Several million dollars granted by Cal Fire to prevent more wildfires. More than $170 million as a proactive measure against fires like we’ve seen this season, the Carr Fire and Mendocino Complex, and to restore forest health. Agencies across the state receiving grant money to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from wildfires and sequester carbon. State Sen. Mike McGuire says $26 million in grants is for North Coast communities. Two of them in Lake County. Seigler Springs Community Redevelopment Association is getting almost $217-thousand for fuel reduction and Heart Consciousness Church, AKA Harbin Hot Springs is getting $469,000 for severe fire remediation after the Valley Fire. Mendocino County is getting almost a million dollars for fuel reduction and the Brooktrails Fire Department gets about $162,000 for fuel reduction too.

A man asking for cup to get some water at a fast food restaurant in Montana ends up tazed and behind bars. It happened at the Missoula Arby’s where police say the guy facing one felony and several misdemeanors after he put soda in his water cup. Daniel Stine accused of fighting with a store employee last week after the employee confronted him and told him to pay up and he said nope, then kicked the guy and tried to leave. Police called the guy put up a fight and they had to use a taser on him. He faces felony robbery charges and four misdemeanors including Criminal Trespass, Disorderly Conduct and Resisting Arrest.

Mendocino County has closed the Mendocino Complex Fire Evacuation shelter at Mendocino College. Residents can still get help from the County’s Health and Human Services Agency for those still under Evacuation Orders. Those who need help can call their Adult Services Dept. at 707-463-7900. Lake County still has shelters for county residents, all listed on the Cal Fire incident page.

There was a quick press conference last night to announce the death of the firefighter who was working an active area of the fire yesterday and got injured. He was airlifted to a hospital where he died. Cal Fire Incident Chief Sean Kavanaugh says they’re dedicated to investigate what happened. Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman saying anyone can get hurt in a big and dangerous fire..

And the Lake County Sheriff Brian Martin also spoke out saying the firefighter’s death is a “stark reminder of how dangerous this career is.” And said they’d honor the memory of the fallen firefighter “by continuing to serve people we’ve never met.”

For some reason river fish are thriving after the Carr Fire in Shasta County. That may be because there’s more water for Klamath and Trinity river fish. The dam that controls the Bureau of Reclamation has doubled flows on the Trinity since late last month that’s to continue emergency operations at the Trinity Power Plant, which was impacted by the fire. And smoke is cooling the water as fall-run salmon head back to the Klamath River estuary. Dam releases will start again to the Trinity River and lower Klamath River later this month.

Helicopters have a place to land for temporary incidents in Willits. The Willits Municipal Airport Ells Field now has a spot to land for visiting air attack fire crews and is now closed to public use for the time being. About seven aircraft utilizing the space for their choppers, crews, fuel trucks, mechanics and so many others. It’s in a direct flight path apparently to the Mendocino Fire Complex. So over the weekend there were some choppers there ready to fly over the fire with buckets of water, some can hold as much as 3,000 gallons of water.

A man from Upper Lake accused of the murder of his wife is being held on one million dollars bail. It happened last month, police arresting William Henry in connection to the death of his wife Cindi who was found by family members, dead. The man was not around when police got to the scene. He was found and arrested soon after though without incident. Witnesses at a preliminary hearing say the woman choked to death by mechanical asphyxiation. An arraignment now set for Henry on Monday.

2 men accused of murdering another man during a home invasion in Clearlake awaiting their trial. David Ward of Oakland and Daniel McRae of Santa Rosa accused of murder, attempted murder and robbery for the home invasion in November of 2016. Police say the men went to a home with an automatic rifle and ordered everyone inside down. But they say 24-year-old Brandon McAfee refused and the gun went off during a struggle with the suspects. He died at a hospital. Ward was arrested in January and McRae in February. The two believed to have been involved in a drug deal gone wrong, now facing a court date Sept. 26th in the case.

Managers of the Sho-Ka-Wah casino in Hopland say they’re closing due to the Mendocino Complex fires. They’ve also planned renovations so they’ll reopen when all is done. The announcement on their Facebook that they were forced to close due to the fires, thanking community members for messages of support and concern. The casino also laid off all team members for the time being. The casino had been closed at the start of the Mendocino Complex fires July 30th as a safety precaution. Management says they’re not sure when their renovations will be complete and to check their Facebook page for updates.

A man from Clearlake suspected of killing three of his four kids, shooting the other and killing himself apparently on the run from cops for some time. The Press Democrat reports Ricardo Garcia Lopez had been on the run for sometime after a domestic battery complaint in July. He ran before police arrived then and was not arrested. But apparently the case was being reviewed when his wife called about the shooting this weekend. He was found dead in their driveway with a gun near him. 3 of his four kids dead in an SUV in the driveway, the fourth with gunshot wounds to the chest, now in stable condition. He was in jail in March on corporal injury on a spouse and pleaded no contest. He got four days in jail and other punishment, plus a restraining order. After he missed a hearing there was a warrant for his arrest for which he was arrested but never showed back up.

The Mendocino Complex is now one huge fire, the Ranch Fire as the River Fire is 100% contained. The River will still have firefighters on the scene patrolling to make sure there are no hot spots smoldering. But the Ranch Fire was still growing on its northern side. The southern side, along Hwy. 20, has almost been contained, but by Lake Pillsbury, firefighters were protecting structures in the Rice Forks area. They’re also working to hold the fire south of Stonyford in Colusa County. The River Fire has stayed just under 49,000 acres for some time now, but the Ranch Fire has gone over the 300,000 acre mark and is 59% contained. The fires have burned 146 homes and 118 other structures. About 1,000 structures are threatened. Besides the firefighters death, two other injuries to firefighters were also reported.

Another home has burned in the Mendocino Complex, bringing the total to 147. The Ranch fire has overtaken the complex to be the single largest fire in Calif modern history. The fire burned another 8,000 acres overnight towards Lake Pillsbury in dry weather. The fire has now blackened nearly 296,000 acres northeast of Ukiah and across Mendocino, Lake and Colusa counties. The River Fire, the twin fire in the Complex has not moved past the 49,000 acre mark and on its own is 93% contained. The Ranch Fire is 59% contained, the two together are 68% contained after being 70% contained when the weekend began. They should be totally contained by Sept. 1st. There are also renewed mandatory evacuation orders for residents near Lake Pillsbury in the Mendocino National Forest area including the Rice Fork Summer Homes area, and everything north to the Lake County line.

A woman’s dead after she was hit by a Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit train in Novato. It happened by the Hamilton Station. The Novato Police Department says SMART reported the death on its Twitter account this morning. The woman died at the scene. Police say they’re working with the Marin County Sheriff’s office, the coroner and SMART. Trains delayed after the death so buses had to be used to shuttle passengers to the Marin Civic Center and to San Rafael. Tracks were reopened in 45 minutes and trains were delayed just about 15 minutes. It’s the second time a pedestrian was hit and killed by a SMART train this year. A woman was killed in January after she walked in front of a train in Santa Rosa, that one a suicide. No word on the death today being intentional.

A man arrested for domestic violence apparently killed three of his kids then turned the gun on himself. Police in Clearlake say they got a call early yesterday to Ricardo Garcia Lopez’s house after the incident. They say the man was outside his family’s mobile home and started firing and his wife ran to get help. Four kids in a parked GMC Yukon in the driveway, three of them dead. They were 9 months, 2 years and 4 years old. A five year old shot in the chest was alive and paramedics took the child to a hospital. The man described as a laborer, was also dead when cops got there, of a self inflicted wound. The man previously arrested in March for domestic violence and for failure to register as a sex offender. No motive has been determined for the massacre.

Fire officials asking for several million dollars in Sonoma County to be proactive against fires. The Press Democrat reports the fire chiefs asking the Board of Supervisors to approve a $42 million a year plan for more firefighters and new fire stations. It comes with a recommendation for a half-cent countywide sales tax to pay for it. It would potentially fund 175 paid firefighters, many who are paramedics, 10 new fire stations for round-the-clock staff who could potentially replace volunteers at other firehouses. They want one new one in Santa Rosa and in Rohnert Park and Petaluma. The requests after last October’s firestorm. All nine cities in the county have to support the tax hike before it goes to voters.

New relief popups for those impacted by the Mendocino Complex fires. The MendoLake Complex Fire Relief unit on East Road in Redwood Valley with clothes, baby supplies and more. The popup started last year after the October fires. The woman running it working with the county right after the Mendocino Complex fires started and many volunteers have been there helping her go thru the massive amount of donations they have received. The Daily Journal reports tens of thousands of people from around the world follow the Facebook page for the Relief Unit. Apparently 40 or so families have been coming in daily. They are trying to get cleaning supplies like bleach, sponges, gloves and paper towels.

New legislation to make sure those in the path of a wildfire get enough warning. North Coast lawmakers state Sen. Mike McGuire and Assemblyman Jim Wood looking to get a statewide emergency alert system in place for landlines and cell phones, TV, and new digital highway signs and of course on the radio so residents are forewarned in case of emergencies like wildfires. It would be similar to the AMBER or Silver alert system in place. There would be an opt out, in other words, it would be something you sign up for and municipalities could get grants if they work with the state. Last week a committee voted unanimously in favor of the bill. It comes after the Carr Fire in Shasta County where some survivors say they never got a warning.

The candidate filing period for three Ukiah city councilmember seats is extended. The deadline is now this Wednesday to be placed on the November 6th ballot. For more info check the city of Ukiah’s website or call the city clerk.

More than 80 marijuana plants found along with other drugs and materials by police in Clearlake. Police say the served a search warrant for illegal growing and found 82 growing marijuana plants along with drying marijuana in a garage, chemicals and materials commonly used with the illegal cultivation and sale of weed. Police say they also found a bunch of meth and a loaded short barreled .22 caliber rifle. No word if any arrests were made.

U-S Senator Kamala Harris has been to an area evacuation center in Middletown and spoke to residents and others at the Middletown Cal Fire station. There was several Cal Fire officers there along with local law enforcement, and Lake County elected officials. She spoke about trying to get more money in the federal budget for fighting wildfires and came to the firehouse and center to give whatever support she could. Harris said she was impressed by firefighters and the Lake County residents she visited. She talked about bringing more money in to fight fires, but also ways to be more preventative, like deforestation of millions of dead trees.

A fire breaks out in Clearlake and takes down three structures and has some evacuated for a time. The fire reported around 7 PM last night and firefighters there within minutes to find several structures in the path of the fire along with boats and vehicles too. Two structures apparently went up quick and propane tanks exploded. Several Fire Engines came to the scene amidst worry the fire could spread to vegetation. The fire was quickly corralled but power lines went down and a lot of water was used to douse the propane tanks still simmering. The area of Grey, Brown and Amber streets from Olympic Drive to Bowers Avenue were evacuated for about 2 and a half hours.

Firefighters working the Mendocino Complex as it creeped toward Lake Pillsbury and nearby homes. The fires grew by 5,000 acres yesterday, having now blackened more than 336,000 acres. But the fire is now 70 percent contained, with full containment expected in two weeks. The Ranch Fire, part of the Complex, has now overtaken the title of the largest in Calif. history. 146 homes have been destroyed in the Complex and more than 100 other structures were also gutted. The Ranch Fire yesterday active on the northwest corner, near Lake Pillsbury so firefighters constructed dozer lines in Potter Valley to try to stop the fire’s forward movement. There was a mandatory evacuation order for the Lake Pillsbury area two weeks ago, and yesterday they reminded residents of the evacuation order and tried to get anyone still there to leave.

A quick meeting set by the Lakeport City Council on fire-related issues. The meeting tonight at 5:15 p.m. to continue the local state of emergency proclamation because of conditions of extreme peril due to the River fire. The River and Ranch fire make up the Mendocino Complex which has burned more than 336,000 acres and destroyed 146 homes and more than 100 other structures. The director of emergency services for the city of Lakeport declared the local state of emergency which needs to continue to be extended every two weeks since the July declaration.

Boaters and recreational users are being warned about some blue-green algae in Clearlake. The cyanobacteria in the three arms of the lake, Upper Arm, Oaks Arm and the Lower Arm. Apparently the algae currently blooming found by the Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians and Elem Indian Colony who regularly conduct extensive monitoring of the lake. The latest results show danger levels of 20 micrograms per liter, or µg/L, at several locations, which triggered the health warnings. Officials reminding that blue-green algae comes with health risks, especially for kids and animals.

Several hundreds of millions of dollars available from the federal government in infrastructure grants. The Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has announced the Federal Aviation Administration has nearly 771 million in airport infrastructure grants left from more than $3 billion in Airport Improvement Program funding. It includes nearly $650-thousand dollars for Lampson Field Airport for runway repairs. The money pays for repairs at airports for runways, taxiways, aprons, and terminal projects.

A goat on the run apparently saves dozens others from slaughter. It happened in New Jersey last week, the livestock auction facility manager says one goat took off after another ran to safety thru a unsecured gate at the Hackettstown Livestock Auction House. Police and residents herded the 60 or so livestock back to the auction, but a handful were not rounded back up, getting away. One goat the locals nicknamed Fred was blamed for the caper. It had escaped from the same auction market a year ago and they say he randomly shows up around town. Fred reportedly in the area hours before the escape.

A 7 month old girl has died in a crash in Lakeville. The crash happened around 8;30 on Thursday night on Lakeville Highway near Old Lakeville Road #2. The baby was a passenger in one of three cars involved in the near head on collision and was pronounced dead at Petaluma Hospital.

The identity of the child killed has not been released Three other children were among 8 people taken to three different hospitals, thir conditions haven’t been released.. Police continue their investigation and no arrests have been made. The roadway was closed in the area for four hours until early this morning.

The latest information from Cal Fire shows the River is 90 percent contained as crews continue to look for hot spots along the fire edge. The firefighting brigade now includes 41 firefighters from New Zealand and Australia and 200 active duty military from the 14th Brigade Engineer Battalion scheduled to arrive today

As fire crews continue their progress an evacuation advisory has been lifted in parts of Lake County. The advisory for all areas north of Clear Lake, east of Highway 29 south of the fire perimeter and west of the county line is no longer in effect.

After being closed due to the fires, the Mendocino College Lake Center will be re-opening on Monday and providing extra support for Lake County students. That extra help will be available all week Monday, through Friday from 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM with will have walk-in counseling, assessment testing, financial aid help and more in order to assist students in preparing for the fall semester, which begins on Monday, August 20. The food pantry will also be open for registered students.

More evacuations in Southern California as crews fight a growing wildfire near Los Angeles. 20,000 people have been told to get out of Lake Elsinore because of that fire, which officials say was set by a man who said he wanted to see it burn.