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A man from Ukiah recovering after getting caught in a fire in his home. The Ukiah Valley Fire Authority reports getting a call Sunday night to the home in the 300 block of Warren Drive by the residents. They say when they got to the home they found the front room of the house, fully involved with flames coming out of the garage too. One of the residents hair was burned, but he didn’t want medical help on scene. A man in the home told firefighters he heard a noise in the garage and opened the garage door, finding flames. He and others inside ran. Firefighters worked to save the home, but apparently much of it was lost. Neighbors were protecting their own homes with hoses. No word what caused the fire.

A fire west of Leggett near the Mendocino Coast closes a road. The fire at Usal Creek started late Saturday night, closing Usal Road. The Usual Fire was last recorded at 130 acres and 45 percent contained with no structures threatened. Some people were seeking shelter at the Usal Campground but were allowed to leave yesterday morning. The fire’s burning in hilly terrain, burning in heavy timber and slash. There was also an Excessive Heat Watch this past weekend warning of hot and dry weather.

A response from Mendocino County to the 2019 Grand Jury Report that criticized leadership and communication by the Board of Supervisors with the public. Some of the highlights, a long term strategic plan, no written succession plan for the CEO, not a lot of information in the CEO report, issues on the County website, tracking directives given to the CEO, and that issue with public and board of supervisors communication. The grand jury had suggestions for the County and the CEO has now responded. She agreed with website issues, but mostly disagreed on all other points. She says as far as succession, some department heads or key staffers could take over. For more details, visit the Board of Supervisors website.

The Pinoleville Pomo Nation has received money to put in a new solar energy project. The funds from the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund which is a tribal-led initiative started with money from Wells Fargo to expand solar energy and solar job opportunities in tribal communities across the country. With that the Pinoleville Pomo Nation says it’s going to put in a 15 KW solar array on top of the roof of the Tribal Youth Education Facility. They say that will give them more than 1000 percent of the total electric usage for all the tribal governmental buildings. Plus they will hire four people for 300 hours of solar installation training and they’ll also certify two of four trainees as solar installers for workforce development.

PG&E has requested a $2 billion gas and electric rate increase so the utility can pay for wildfire safety measures. The issue the topic of a couple of public hearings in Santa Rosa. The town halls on the rate increase because they have to be approved by the California Public Utilities Commission. The 6.4% increase applied for by the utility last December. It would mean another $10.50 or so a month on a typical gas and electric bill next year. The company says the money it brings in will pay for improvements to their gas and electric facilities, pay to trim millions of trees and add the weather stations and hi def cameras. The money is not going to any wildfire claims or lawsuits from the past.

The townhalls can be seen on Youtube.

They will be webcast at http://www.youtube.com/user/CityofSantaRosa or http://www.facebook.com/cityofsantarosa, available on a listen-only phone line 1-877-937-0554 passcode 7031793 and broadcast on the Government Channels Comcast 28 or AT&T 72.

There could be a verdict soon in the manslaughter trial of the two men accused in the deadly Ghost Ship warehouse fire. Closing arguments started in the case against Derick Almena and Max Harris after the December 2016 fire at the Oakland warehouse that killed 36 people. The pair are accused of converting the building into an artist work space where some artists lived, packing it with combustible materials that eventually trapped those who tried to run from the fire. Almena was the master tenant. Court papers say there were no smoke detectors, fire alarms or fire suppression system. No cause was ever determined for the fire. The two men face several years behind bars. The jury should be getting the case in the next few days or next week.

A woman in Mendocino’s been arrested on domestic violence charges. Deputies responded about a week and a half ago to a call and found Joey Lyn Harmon and her husband were in a fight over a cell phone and at some point, the woman hit her husband with her fists and bit him. Deputies say the man had injuries consistent with the claim so they booked Harmon into the Mendocino County Jail for felony domestic battery and held her on $25,000.00 bail

A woman in Fort Bragg’s been arrested for domestic violence. Deputies reported to a disturbance last week finding Crystal Adele Bucher and a 45 year old man, they say are married, and had an argument. The man says Bucher hit him with her fists. Deputies say he had visible injuries on his body consistent with the reported assault, so she was arrested on felony domestic battery charges and booked into jail on $25,000.00 bail

Volunteers are needed to remove brush this fire season in the Soda Bay area. Lake County Supervisor Rob Brown trying to round up as many as 500 volunteers to donate part of the day Saturday, August 17, to remove hazardous vegetation along County roadside in the Soda Bay corridor, from the end of Highway 281 to Soda Bay, including areas of the Black Forest.  Brown says most wildfires are caused by roadside vegetation and that this area is one at the greatest risk.  The meeting place Riviera Elementary School in Kelseyville that morning at 6 am. Bring your own tools.

Volunteers can sign up by completing our Volunteer Services Agreement.  Copies are available from the County Administrative Office, Human Resources Office and Department of Public Works, and the form is posted online, at:

http://www.lakecountyca.gov/1000HandsAgreement/

Contact Supervisor Brown with questions at (707) 349-2628 and my email address is Rob.Brown@lakecountyca.gov.

A man arrested after a fire burned in Clearlake Saturday has been identified. Police say it was 28 year old Adam Miller who started the fire. Witnesses told cops it was Miller who set the fire near a shopping center and apartment complex. He was arrested a couple hours after the fire was set in a field behind the Cache Creek Apartments, and near the Tractor Supply and Big 5 Sporting Goods stores. There were evacuations of the apartment building, but no injuries were reported. Witnesses told police on the scene they saw Miller start the fire and chased and confronted him as someone else called for help. Police arrested Miller soon after. He was being held on suspicion of arson, with bail set at $100,000.

About 3,000 acres have been donated by a nonprofit to protect Northern Calif. Steelhead. The Trust for Public Land along with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation working together to buy the last 8,800 acres in the nearly 12,000-acre Sanhedrin Acquisition Project. Lake Co News reports the land purchased with Land and Water Conservation Funds and private philanthropic donations. It’s in the Middle Fork Eel River watershed, and will help protect critical habitat for the threatened Steelhead. This last 3,000 acre gift supported by donations from the Wyss Foundation and the landowner, Coastal Forestlands Ltd.

PG&E is looking for potential problems with their equipment, flying low over the North Coast for the next few months. Choppers flew last week in Lake County, are currently flying over Mendocino County, and will head to Humboldt next month. The helicopters will be about 300 to 500 feet above ground using LIDAR technology, using light detection and ranging to find trees or other vegetation that could fall into power lines. This is all part of the utility company’s expanded and enhanced vegetation management work since the 2017 and 2018 wildfires that destroyed thousands of homes and killed more than 130 people. Besides their ground inspections, the LiDAR helicopter inspections will cover more than 25,000 miles of distribution lines in areas deemed at elevated or extreme risk of wildfire per a California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) High Fire-Threat District Map.

The Calif. Attorney General’s office is posting a warning about an eBay scam hitting Calif. The auction site has a messaging area for buyers and sellers to communicate, and for users to receive updates from the app. Scammers now using that area to fake they’re a seller and try to manipulate buyers. The bogus seller gets in touch with someone bidding on a product telling them they lost the bid but sends a link to make the purchase anyway. The victim then pays for something that doesn’t exist. The Attorney General scam warning says to stay with eBay and not leave for any link. And to also not wire money or send checks to someone outside of eBay.

A new report after the Camp Fire and others in Northern Calif. shows residents are concerned most about global warming bringing bigger fires. The Public Policy Institute of California’s survey of just over 1,700 adults across the state had 71% saying they were “very concerned” about rising oceans and hotter temperatures. But they were less concerned about climate change than wildfires. Only 25% of those polled approved of how President Trump was handling environmental issues, and they had the same approval rating for Congress on the issue. The Gov. Gavin Newsom also didn’t get great numbers, about 45% of those polled approved of his environmental issues record.

 

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