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The Mendocino Complex Fire is still mostly burning out of control. The River and Ranch Fires growing after almost two weeks of burning , giving it the dubious honor of being the largest fire in recorded history in Calif. There have been new evacuation orders and others lifted. The fire is creeping past the 300,000 acre mark. It’s burned 300,086 acres in all. The River Fire just under 49,000 acres and it’s 81% contained. But along with the Ranch Fire, they’re 47 percent contained. There are still mandatory evacuation orders for 10,000 people in Mendocino, Lake and Colusa Counties. They’re in Lake Pillsbury to the north; Upper Lake, Nice, Lucerne and Clearlake Oaks along Clear Lake’s north and eastern shores; then headed east into Colusa County. The fire’s destroyed 116 homes and 105 other buildings. 10,300 structures are threatened. One firefighter has been injured.

The Planning Commission in Ukiah is considering a Tractor company coming to Talmage Road. The meeting tonight to consider Garton Tractor putting up a 7,500 square foot building that includes service bays. But an appeal was filed against the project by Ukiah City Council Member Doug Crane. The project is close to the airport so the city council directed staff to refer the project to the Mendocino County Airport Land Use Commission to review it. The project has been accepted as far as the airport goes. So now it’s up to the planning commission to amend the original plans.

The Ukiah Sanitation District set to hold a public hearing on delinquent accounts. The meeting today will also look at aligning the District’s calculations and fee schedules for new commercial sewer connections with the ones in the city of Ukiah. There’s a closed session first with lawyers regarding the lawsuit against the City of Ukiah regarding the Ukiah Wastewater Treatment Plant. The meeting at the district office tonight at 6.

State Senator Mike McGuire and a legislative delegation from New South Wales, Australia had a meeting to talk about firefighting, emergency management and fire recovery. The meeting yesterday after a group of about a dozen New South Wales firefighters were sent to help state and federal firefighters in the Western United States. About 150 firefighters and emergency personnel from Australia and New Zealand came to California to work on the Mendocino Complex fires, the Carr Fire and more fires burning in Northern California and Oregon. McGuire thanked them for their support.

13 new electric vehicle charging stations have been installed along the Mendocino Coast and in Willits. With a $500,000 grant from the California Energy Commission to Mendocino Land Trust, that paid for several electric vehicle charging stations in Mendocino County. The last was put in in Willits in mid-July. There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony in Willits next Friday in the city parking lot. The grant to pay for the stations was matched by Visit Mendocino County, the Tarbell Family Foundation, Clipper Creek, Group II Commercial Real Estate and Harvest Market.

The Wildfire Relief Fund started by North Coast Opportunities, Inc. has been reopened. The fund to help those impacted by the 2018 Lake and Mendocino County wildfires. They’re accepting credit cards thru PayPal at their website, or by mail and in-person. North Coast started the fund in 2015 after the Rocky, Jerusalem and Valley Fires. Then in 2016, for the Clayton Fire, and again last year for the Redwood Fire in Mendocino County and the Sulphur Fire in Lake County. This time around it’s for those affected by the Pawnee Fire, Ranch Fire and River Fire. The fund for long term needs, but also for immediate assistance such as gas, food, diapers, loss of wages and more.

The Mendocino Complex Fire is affecting deer hunting season which is supposed to open in the A zone this weekend. The wildfires affecting those who want to gun in the Cow Mountain Recreation Area, which has been charred by the fire. It’s also burning in the Mendocino National Forest and Cache Creek Wildlife area. So folks who want to hit those areas won’t be allowed to. You can check with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management websites for more info. That said, the deer population has been on the decline as of late. Now there’s a loss of habitat and the land being home to coyotes and mountain lions.

School starting a week late in the Upper Lake Unified School District due to the fires. The Board of Trustees made the decision with the fire not expected to be fully contained until possibly Labor Day weekend. The fire’s now the largest ever in the state. It started a couple weeks ago and there’s been thousands of people evacuated in Lake County, including in Upper Lake and the Northshore. Part of the school district continues to be under evacuation orders, including the schools. So yesterday at a special meeting at the Lake County Office of Education headquarters in Lakeport a delay was agreed upon until August 22nd so those evacuated could focus on their home and family first.

A local assistance center is being open in Lake County for victims of the Mendocino Complex. Lake Co News reports the County Administrative Office says as soon as there’s repopulation of evacuated areas they’ll set the center up within 24 to 48 hours. There’s no firm date the center would open. They will focus on immediate disaster response. But this much we know, it will be set up at the Lakeport Senior Center and will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. They’ll have various services available for those impacted by the fires, including temporary or long-term housing, medical care assistance, and information on fire debris removal or permits. They may also help with insurance or help with pets.

A virtual meeting’s being held on the Mendocino Complex tonight with Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service. The meeting on the Cal Fire Mendocino Unit Facebook page, the county of Lake’s Facebook page and PEG TV Channel 8. Cal Fire working with the Forest Service on the complex as the fire’s burning in the State Responsibility Area and federally managed lands, plus of course on private land too. The latest updates will be shared and they will take questions on Facebook.

For more information, call the Mendocino Complex Fire Information Line at 707-574-8261.

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