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Cal Fire says the ranch fire is on track to be contained by the weekend. The fire is now 98 percent contained and the last section of uncontained fire is west of Stonyford near Bonnie View and Happy Camp. Firefighters continue to monitor interior burning west of Stonyford and patrol fire lines in this area. Suppression repair work consists of removing dirt berms, spreading cut vegetation and building water bars to reduce soil erosion. Hazy conditions continue but the smoke should ease in areas near as Ukiah, Potter Valley and those surrounding Clear Lake.

Insured losses as a result of the Mendocino Complex fires are currently at more than 56-million dollars. California’s insurance commissioner said yesterday that combined with the Carr Fire that burned in Shasta and Trinity counties, insured losses totaled about 845-million dollars to date. By comparison, insured losses from the October fires were almost 10-billion dollars, making them the costliest fires in U.S. History. The Tubbs Fire destroyed over five-thousand-600 structures and killed 22 people.

A deadline is coming up for people who want help for fire-related losses from North Coast Opportunities. The agency says it will accept those applications until next Friday, September 14th. NCO officials say they have already started handing out checks to people affected by the fires. They say the priority in the new applications will be the those who have lost everything in the Mendocino Complex, Eel and Pawnees fires. They are also looking for donations to replenish the relief fund. You can find out more at the website www.ncoinc.org

A state investigation is finding staff abandoned residents of senior care homes during the October wildfires. Regulators began proceedings yesterday to pull the licenses of Santa Rosa care homes owned by Oakmont Senior Living. The investigation by the state Department Of Social Services found that around 100 elderly residents were left stranded by poorly trained staff members at the Varenna and Villa Capri facilities in Fountaingrove. Meanwhile, Oakmont Senior Living denies any wrongdoing and has 15 days to file an appeal.

The Delta Fire burning in Shasta County is up to 22-thousand acres and a portion of Interstate 5 remains closed. The blaze began Wednesday afternoon in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest and is still zero percent contained. About 45 miles of Interstate 5 is closed in both directions, and evacuation orders are in place for three counties. At least 300 structures are threatened, including 150 homes, as over one-thousand-200 firefighters battle the wild

PG and E has started the process of selling off its Potter Valley hydroelectric project, which consists of two dams along the upper Main Stem Eel River, a powerhouse in Potter Valley, and about 5,600 acres of land, including Lake Pillsbury in Lake County. The utility has owned the project since 1930 and the Cape Horn and Scott dams date to the early part of the 20th century. PG and E will continue to operate the project during the auction process. The qualified buyer will then take over the license, which expires in 20-22. There is no starting asking price. PG and E first announced plans to sell in May.

The owners of the Mendocino Railway, which operates the Skunk Train, have come to an agreement to buy 70 acres of land from Georgia Pacific in Fort Bragg. The land is part of the former millsite which has been unused since G P pulled out in the 2000’s. Skunk Train officials say their plans include a new depot, a resort hotel, and medium- to high-density housing. The proposal would also preserve the last remaining building on the land. The president of Mendocino Railway says their vision is pretty much in line with what Fort Bragg city officials have in mind for the land. The deal with GP could be finalized in the next couple months.

Lake County government offices have a backlog of work and so the county has decided to adjust public hours to deal with it. Starting next week and going through March 10, the county will run a pilot program of hours of Monday through Thursday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, excluding holidays. The county been hit hard in its budget and has several staff vacancies it has been unable to fill, leading to the backup of work. The affected offices are all at the country courthouse building—as well as some outlying locations. Officials say the number of employees will remain the same and that only the public hours will change. Among the departments NOT effected—the sheriff’s office and the library. The board of supervisors unanimously approved the Friday closures.

Climate change will be the topic at a pair of weekend gatherings in Ukiah. The group Climate Action Mendocino will host a meeting from 9:00 to noon on Saturday at the Ukiah Farmers Market. That will be followed by a forum from 1:30 to 4:00 at the Mendocino Ag building on North Bush Street. That forum will feature a

No charges are being filed against a Florida woman accused of sticking her son’s head in a toilet. Leesburg Police announced this week that Kaitlyn Wolf is off the hook for now for recently sticking her three-year-old son’s head in a toilet and flushing it. It’s known as a “swirly” and Wolf told authorities it was all just a joke. She could still face legal action in the future and the state’s child services division is still looking into the case. Investigators say there were no signs of physical injuries.

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