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More progress on the massive Kincade fire as weather conditions are more favorable for firefighters. The fire grew to almost of 78,000 acres, but containment also jumped to 65 percent. A new full containment date also, Nov. 7th, not the 4th. There have been 349 houses destroyed and 55 damaged. There are still several hundred threatened. There are still some evacuation warnings and orders in Sonoma County, but all evacuation warnings for Cobb Mountain and Middletown are over. Firefighters trying to contain a portion of the fire that’s situated along narrow roads and steep terrain.

PG&E says there will still be public safety power shutoffs in the future. The word at a press conference Wednesday night with the energy giant. The CEO of the company spoke saying every day of the fire season, brings proof, we’re living in extraordinary times in California. He also says it will continue to be like this in the future. The chief meteorologist for the utility company says there were historic winds in October and that the Oct. 26th and 27th wind event was stronger than the Oct. 8th and 9th wind that came in 2017 where historic fires broke out across Northern Calif. killing more than 40 people.

Ukiah Police along with the Ukiah Police Officers Association are taking part in No-Shave November to help raise awareness for cancer. The campaign raises money for cancer research and treatment and is meant to educate folks on prevention. It’s also recognition of those who lose their hair in treatment. Any cop who wants to participate is donating $25 to the Cancer Resource Center of Mendocino County. And members of the Police Officers Association are matching the fee for $50 for each participating member.

A special meeting with public officials from Clearlake, Lakeport and the County of Lake to discuss the Pacific Gas & Electric Public Safety Power Shutoffs. Frustration abounds at the meeting with government leaders and residents regarding the intentional power shutoffs. Some spoke out about the medical, financial and emotional tolls the power outages had on them personally and on their bottom line. More than 39,000 PG&E customers had no power for more than a week this month. A PG&E spokesperson was at the meeting at the courthouse. The Lake County Administrative Officer said the power being off extended periods will cost county government more than $1 million.

Thousands of PG&E customers in Sonoma County have no gas as part of the ongoing deliberate power downs in fire weather. PG&E says they won’t get to it until Monday while temperatures are starting to dip below freezing at night. The natural gas service out to more than 24,000 customers as the Kincade fire threatened the county all the way out to the ocean. The same for electric lines, the utility company turned off the gas to prevent the wildfire from lighting up the gas lines and exposing the area to more fires.

Even though the power was out to hundreds of thousands across the state, there were still several fires that broke out. It’s also predicted that electric lines may have started at least half of the fires, including the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County and fires in Southern California near the Reagan library and Getty museum. The Public Utilities Commission is investigating the public safety power shutoffs as Cal Fire says it’s too early to tell if the intentional power downs were even effective. It all started with San Diego Gas and Electric who had the first public safety power shutoffs after the 2007 Witch Fire. PG&E being called out by the governor and residents for the widespread shutoffs. The Gov. said it was “inexcusable”. But fires still broke out. PG&E reporting a high voltage transmission line near where the Kincade Fire broke out may have ignited it. They also acknowledged their equipment may have started a couple smaller fires in Lafayette. So Cal Edison also admitted the Saddle Ridge Fire in October was near a high voltage transmission tower and there was circuit activity near the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

It’s getting expensive to rebuild or even start anew in some fire prone areas. Since the Camp Fire in Butte County last year, insurance rates have ballooned. The same in El Dorado County, and now realtors say there’s been a 20 to 30 percent drop in sales because of insurance rates doubling or in some cases, tripling. Between July and November of last year in rural El Dorado County, 290 homes up for sale, only 60 sold. And this year 350 were on the market and only 50 sold.

Most everyone with their power shutoff in the last two overlapping power downs should have their lights on. PG&E reports most Lake County residents were without power during the twin events. Power to nearly 3/4 ‘s of Lake County was back on Wednesday night, with the remainder powered back up by yesterday afternoon. Some residents in south Lake County though are still without power until tonight by 9 pm.

The Burris fire which broke out near Potter Valley in Mendocino County nearly contained. The fire charred just over 700 acres and is 93 percent contained with no structures threatened. There was one minor injury to a firefighter, but no burned structures from the fire which started last weekend.

Some PG&E workers out in the field apparently concerned about their safety after reports of shots fired at Pacific Gas and Electric Co. trucks. The utility company sending thousands of workers out to inspect lines and make repairs before power could be restored to hundreds of thousands across Northern and Central Calif. Workers report customers frustration with them. The utility company’s CEO says they’ve been the targets of misguided attacks, not just verbal abuse but death threats.  One worker intentionally run off a road, and another fired at by a pellet gun. One truck hit by a bullet in Colusa County and a PG&E office in Oroville had eggs tossed at a window. The CEO and Gov. Newsom urging folks not to get angry at employees.

 

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