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It’s a been a year to the day that the Redwood Complex Fire started in what’s now known as the October 2017 firestorm. It burned in the northwestern part of Potter Valley then spread throughout the valley. Nine people were killed in the fire and 546 structures burned along with more than 36,000 acres. It came the same day as several other fires across Northern Calif. including the Tubbs Fire which burned in Sonoma County and killed more than 20 people. The Redwood Complex started in two separate locations when trees or parts of them fell on PG&E power lines. The fire damaged vineyards and messed up agriculture and grapes. Since the fire many new laws have been signed by the governor to better plan for wildfires and to help with those lacking in insurance coverage, plus tougher arson laws. There’s a list of events on the Daily Journal website to mark the anniversary.

Fire restrictions have been lifted by the Bureau of Land Management in Ukiah. The restrictions no longer in place for neighboring counties to Mendocino including Colusa, Lake, Napa, Sonoma and Yolo counties because there’s been cooler temperatures and measurable rain. This means more outdoor activities with camp fires and target shooting is allowed, but look out for red flag warnings. They warn shooters to use the appropriate ammo and non-metal targets and to remove spent shells, targets and any trigger trash. Campfires allowed with a valid California campfire permit.

An alleged shoplifter got a surprise when a witness jumped on their car. Ukiah Police say they got a call Friday to Friedman’s Home Improvement on Airport Park Boulevard for a report two people were hit by cars in the parking lot related to shoplifting. They say they got there and heard someone had seen another person shoplifting so they jumped on their car to stop them, and damaged their windshield. An ambulance and fire engine were also on scene. The alleged shoplifter and witness were gone when cops got there though. No word on what was taken from the store.

Controversy continues after the demotion of the Terrace Middle School Principal Rachel Paarsch. The Record Bee reports after Paarsch was demoted to being a teacher and removed as Principal there’s been outcry. After a closed session of the Lakeport Unified School District Governing Board they voted unanimously except for one board member who abstained, Paarsch’s father. She was first put on administrative leave Monday, September 24th. But even though parents got word of the leave, they’ve not been told why. Community members and Paarsch supporters say there’s now a negative atmosphere for teachers and students at the school. And fear among other teachers in the district for speaking up. The demotion just ahead of an election for the board. The newspaper reports some of Paarsch’s supporters say it was a political move because she supported new board members who didn’t like the Superintendent. Some say the board misused the Brown Act too, which the newspaper says didn’t happen.

A bill to fix a part of the regulations for medical marijuana in Calif has been vetoed. The Gov. vetoed the bill Sunday regarding donated cannabis from nonprofits. A bill was approved by legislators in August though so medicinal weed could be donated to medical users tax free. But Gov. Brown says that the bill would undermine the will of voters who passed Proposition 64 in 2016. He says the bill conflicted with Prop 64. But the bill’s author says it was a missed opportunity to help people in desperate need of medicine and says the governor had misinterpreted Prop. 64, he says he’s still committed to correcting the issue. The cannabis-advocacy nonprofit Cal Norml, called Brown’s veto “outrageous”.

A new horse park is coming to Lakeport, just outside the city. Lake Co News reports the Westside Community Park Committee is developing 10 acres of land off Highway 175. They’ve apparently submitted the first drawings to the city of Lakeport and will apply to Caltrans for an encroachment. After they get the encroachment permit, construction can start. They’re looking to put in a 150 by 300-foot arena and parking spots. And apparently, down the road, they’ll add a round pen, smaller exercise arena, sprinklers, an area for manure removal, restrooms, overnight hookups and more. They’re also working on fundraising for all of it.

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Local crisis counselors have been working to help those impacted by the Mendocino Complex and Carr fires. The fires both started in July and apparently crisis counselors saw an uptick in people with sleeping problems or anxiety issues. FEMA funded crisis counselors in Sonoma County say the amount of people getting counseling went from about 2,500 in June to more than 3,800 a month later, a 55 percent increase. There was also a feeling of déjà vu as it’s a year after the Redwood Valley fires and the massive fires in Sonoma County. FEMA funds were used to create a crisis counseling center in Sonoma. The Calif. Hope Program they do community outreach, counseling and other mental health services for survivors.

A cause has been released for the Ferguson Fire which broke out in the Yosemite Valley and closed the park this summer. A car ignited dry vegetation on a canyon highway. The U.S. Forest Service says an overheated catalytic converter, underneath a car, is believed to be the cause, after it sparked roadside vegetation on Highway 140, along the Merced River. The fire ballooned to almost 97,000 acres. The area filled with trees that were dead after five years of drought. The fire also started during the hottest July on record in that area. Two firefighters died in the fire and ten structures were destroyed.

A roundup of wild horses in Northern Calif, the US Forest Service says many of the horses will be sold to slaughterhouses. It’s starting tomorrow and will last all month to get horses from a herd in the Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory in the Modoc National Forest. The Forest supervisor says there’s supposed to be about 400 horses but there’s almost 4,000 in more than 250,000 acres outside Redding. She says there’s not a lot of water there. The U.S. Department of Interior prohibits the sale to slaughterhouses, but the Forest Service is under the U.S. Department of Agriculture, without that restriction. The American Wild Horse Campaign says it’s exploitation of a legal loophole.


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