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A Utah Firefighter remembered a year after coming to Northern Calif. to fight the Mendocino Complex Fire. Volunteer firefighters have erected a memorial cross above the Eel River in honor of Matthew Burchett with his name and picture on it at the Elk Mountain Road overlook. The 42‑year‑old veteran firefighter was killed on the giant Ranch Fire last year. Several people came out to honor him as the cross was put in the ground Tuesday, the one year anniversary of Burchett’s death. Burchett came to California as the Ranch and River fires burned last July. The bigger fire, the Ranch fire burned 410,000 acres and continued for several weeks on the north shore of Clear Lake. The River fire burned 50,000 acres on the lake’s west shore.

A well known wine executive in Sonoma County who also recently resigned as its president is accused of water quality violations. Hugh Reimers of Foley Wines’ vineyard in Santa Rosa is accused by the North Coast Regional Water Quality Board of violating local water rules, the Calif. Water Code and the federal Clean Water Act. His vineyard management company, Krasilsa Pacific Farms accused of not applying for the proper permits to operate a vineyard in the first place. The notice of violations filed in June against Reimers, the manager of Krasilsa. His resignation is apparently unrelated to the findings. His company faces penalties though from just cleaning up the property to fines.

A state audit finding $1.5 billion in reserves in the Cal State system is not the case. This according to the chancellor of the country’s biggest four-year public university system. The Press Democrat reports California State University Chancellor Timothy White speaking in front of a panel of lawmakers Monday says the so-called discretionary reserves is actually so students can get advances on financial aid, pay for construction projects across their 23 schools and so there’s a little extra in case there’s another recession. This comes after the California State Auditor told lawmakers school officials could use the money how they wanted, without restrictions.

The 1,000 Hands to Protect Lake County Homes brush clearing project is on. The project long planned before the Golf fire broke out in the corridor this past week. The event planned for this Saturday, Aug. 17th organized by Supervisor Rob Brown who says they knew it was an important event before, but now he says it’s critical. He tells Lake Co News clearing the roadside vegetation is an opportunity to take action for an area that’s still vulnerable. He says there are 12,000 county residents near the high risk fire area. They’re looking for 500 volunteers this Saturday from 6 to 10 a.m. at six worksites in the Soda Bay corridor.
All participants must sign a volunteer services agreement prior to starting work. It can be found at http://www.lakecountyca.gov/1000HandsAgreement/ and returned, by email, to Rob.Brown@lakecountyca.gov or your crew leader the day of the event.

State Sen. Mike McGuire has new legislation so utility companies who want to turn power off need to provide early notification to certain agencies. McGuire introducing a Senate Bill he says is common sense. He says his bill will require police, fire, sheriff departments, health care facilities and telecommunication providers get prior notification of de-energizing to allow residents to know in a timely fashion. The power shutoffs as a last result so there isn’t a fire in red flag or other fire weather events. He says there’s no requirement that the notifications go out to first responders, health care facilities, and telecommunication services. He says last October PG&E had a power shutdown in Lake County with inadequate notification by the utility company, a problem for residents on oxygen and need electricity to survive.

The Moose Fire staying at the latest acreage count of 225 acres. The fire started Monday late afternoon off Moose Rd and Bus McGall Rd. between Ukiah and Hopland. One firefighter had minor injuries, but no structures have burned or been damaged. Evacuation orders were reduced to warnings and the fire’s 35% contained. The fire burning in steep mountains, deep ravines, rock outcroppings and higher temperatures. There’s no date prediction for full containment. Another fire, in Sonoma County, is 100% contained. The Timm Fire started yesterday afternoon and burned 81 acres.

A major subdivision in Ukiah planned a decade ago, back in the mix. The Daily Journal reports a developer out of Chico bought almost 50 acres in the 3000 block of South State Street at auction in June. The area was slated to become the Garden’s Gate subdivision but was stagnant for years. The developer’s reportedly paying off $400,000 in property taxes and other debts and is looking to build 170-180 single family homes called Bella Vista Estates. Their audience is working professionals. The same company is putting up apartments at the corner of North Main and Norton streets, called Main Street Village. And they’re eyeing another project, homes in the north end of Ukiah on Lovers Lane.

A small fire near the Ukiah Airport is out. The Ukiah Valley Fire Authority says they think the fire yesterday morning may have been sparked by a lawnmower. The fire chief says the fire burned an acre-and-a half of dry grass and says there are witnesses to what happened. A couple of FAA employees at the airport that morning saying they saw somebody mowing where the fire started. Some firefighters reportedly diverted from the Moose Fire. And nearby a crash at the Moose Fire site on the 101 near McNab Ranch Road. The driver had only minor injuries.

An elderly man missing, last seen in Mendocino County. Teresa Abraham searching for her missing dad, John Baker, driving to the Piercy area from Southern Calif. She says her father liked to take long rides, but at the beginning of the month when he drove to Seattle and back, he vanished. She says she thinks he was planning to visit the redwoods. The 81 year old used his credit card at a gas station in Piercy last week, and she spoke to him, when he said he was headed home thru the trees, then back to Hwy 5, but she’s not heard from him since and there’s been no activity on his credit card. She did say her father has Alzheimer’s, but his doctor cleared him earlier this year to renew his driver’s license.

PM News

The Moose Fire staying at the latest acreage count of 225 acres but is nearly half way contained. The fire that started Monday off Moose Rd and Bus McGall Rd. between Ukiah and Hopland is 45% contained. There was one firefighter injury, but that was minor. No structures have burned or are damaged. Evacuation orders were reduced to warnings yesterday, with a reminder for residents to be at the ready if needed. The fire reportedly burning in steep terrain. It was very hot for firefighters today too, reaching above 100 degrees. No word on when the fire may fully be contained, but we’ll bring you more info as we get it.

A resolution regarding the Potter Valley Project says Lake County is against the removal of Scott Dam. The Record Bee reports the Board of Supervisors amended their June resolution because of Lake Pillsbury. The newspaper writes it’s to allow the county to be involved in a regional group put together with the idea they’d take over control of the Potter Valley Project from the current owner, PG& E. Humboldt County, the Mendocino Inland Water and Power Commission, Sonoma Water, Friends of the Eel River, Round Valley Indian Tribes, California Trout, and others form the group who are paying for a study to see if they can reasonably take over control of the Potter Valley Project.

The legislature finishing up their month long recess, headed back to the capitol next week with some major bills to tackle before the end of the session. There are only two months left in the legislative session and one of the bills on the table to regulate phony medical vaccine exemptions. Senator Richard Pan’s bill passed the Assembly Health Committee in June. It happens at the same time the country’s seeing a comeback of the measles virus. Pan says we need better oversight of medical exemptions to protect children. But those against say it shouldn’t be up to the legislature to make medical decisions. The bill heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee next.

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