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The amount of structures burned in the Mendocino Complex has risen as has acreage and containment lines. The fires made up of the Ranch and River fires grew another 4,000 acres yesterday for nearly 95,000 acres burned. The fires combined are 24% contained. The Ranch Fire on its own is at about 61,500 acres with 15% containment and the River Fire is just under 33,400 acres and 38% contained. Cal Fire reports 38 structures now gone, including 14 homes and 24 others buildings. 15 damaged structures, includes 8 homes. The fires are burning in hot weather with wind and low humidity on very dry land. Firefighters on the River Fire trying to protect the area around Scotts Valley and the Hendricks Road area. Lake Co News reports the entire City of Lakeport continues to be under a mandatory evacuation order.

PG&E has reportedly hired a lobbyist firm in its fight over the October firestorm and its potential liability. Reports that the utility giant has paid more for lobbying this last quarter of 2018 than any other entity. This comes from reports filed before the deadline this week, showing PG&E paid more than $1.7 million. A group that represents several people who lost their homes in fires, Up from the Ashes, spent about a half million dollars so utility companies would have to pay for damage they might be liable for.

Police say the 20 people who were reported as missing in Shasta County due to the Carr Fire have all been found and accounted for. Family or friends had reported the missing people while the fire was burning in Redding, French Gulch, Old Shasta, and Keswick.

A new evacuation shelter has opened for those in the path of the Eel Fire near Covelo. The Health & Human Services Agency of Mendocino County is running the shelter at Round Valley Elementary School, on the corner of Howard Street and Airport Road in Covelo where they have beds, blankets and food.

Large animals are being accepted for those affected by the Eel Fire at the Rodeo Arena on Airport Rd. in Covelo.

More arrests of folks in mandatory evacuated areas. Clearlake Police found Roberto Torres who says he went into Clearlake High School to wet his hair, but police say there was no clear answer as to why he was wandering around an evacuated area. They also found a couple of shaved keys in his backpack which can be used in burglaries and thefts. So the guy was arrested for Unauthorized Person in an Evacuation Area and Possession of Burglary Tools, but he was released with a citation and escorted from the evacuation area. Then another man from Nice, Gary Mayhood was found in an evacuation area too where he told police he was there to get a dirt bike from a friend. But officers say they found about 27.5 grams of meth in his pocket which he said was for personal use. Officers also found $940.00 cash on him so he was arrested for Unauthorized Person in an Evacuation Area, Sales of Controlled Substance, and Transportation of a Controlled Substance. And three other men were also arrested for being in an evacuation area. Francisco Corona of Kelseyville and his passengers, Juan Corona, also of Kelseyville and Alfredo Ramirez of Finley. The driver had a suspended license. The trio told police they were evacuating, but police say they had no property in their car. Then they said they were bringing water to a friend, but there was no water in the trunk. Police also found one of the men was on Post Release Community Supervision probation (PRCS) for felony evading. The trio arrested for Unauthorized Person in an Evacuation Area and released with a citation.

Four giant wildfires continue to burn in Northern Calif with a fifth suddenly starting. The Eel Fire, which we’ve been reporting on, started Tuesday in Mendocino County outside Covelo. But the four major fires, the Mendocino Complex, the Carr Fire along with the Ferguson have burned nearly 280,000 acres in all. The Carr Fire burning in Shasta County has been active at night with smoke staying low to the ground so air support has not been what it could be. The fire also spawned a tornado which tore into Redding. The Ferguson Fire has closed Yosemite National Park, and burned nearly 64,000 acres. Then the Eel Fire, smaller than the rest, broke out earlier this week around 40 miles north of the Mendocino Complex. It’s burned about 1,000 acres. Then late yesterday reports of yet another fire off Highway 101 south of Hopland in Mendocino County which was smaller and already 50 percent contained.

More info on the power outage in Mendocino and Lake Counties last weekend. Tens of thousands had no power when the Ranch Fire damaged two utility lines in Upper Lake. Ukiah Electric Utility says they get their energy locally, but also from several other sources, and some of the lines supplying local power were damaged. PG&E owns the transmission grid transporting energy into the region.

The Vichy Fire, a new one that started near Vichy Springs quickly knocked down. The fire reported yesterday afternoon in the 600 block of Redemeyer Road, just five to ten acres but moving quickly. But within about a half hour the radio reports say the fire was knocked down.

The Governor holds a press conference on the fires saying it’s probably going to cost California billions in the next ten years. The Gov. says predictions of global warming and fires to happen by the years 2040 or 2050 are actually happening now. The state reports as many as 13,000 firefighters on duty right now with 16 large wildfires charring 320,000 acres with more than 32,000 residents out of their homes. There are also firefighters in the state from several other states from as far away as Maine and Florida. The Gov. says the state will spend what it has to to fight the fires but blames it on the fast rise in greenhouse gases caused by human activity.

Several hundred residents showed up at the town hall at Kelseyville High on the Mendocino Complex Fires. Lake Co News reports there were 400 people there along with county and state officials including Cal Fire commanders and Congressmen Mike Thompson and John Garamendi. On Tuesday night Cal Fire reported good work but that yesterday was a challenging day on the fires. The two Congress members said they were working with federal officials to get more money to pay for the disasters including the Carr Fire in Shasta County and the Mendocino Complex Fires.

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