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Most of Brooktrails can go home, except “Zone 1” – and includes the areas Third Gate Road, Skyview Road, Big John Road, Live Oak Drive, and Ryan Creek Road west of Highway 101.

WHAT: Fire officials will provide an operational update on the current status of the Oak fire in the Willits area of Mendocino County and be available to answer questions submitted online via Facebook.
WHEN: 6:00 p.m. Thursday September 10, 2020
WHERE: Facebook Live –
CAL FIRE is committed to providing the public with regular incident updates and information. This meeting will be a virtual event to ensure we are keeping the public informed while providing for proper Covid procedures for social distancing. We are committed to answering your online questions and will field some questions at the conclusion of the virtual meeting, all others will be answered online via Facebook.
SAFETY MESSAGE – The public is reminded to stay vigilant on current fire conditions. Please continue to adhere to road closures and any evacuation orders or warnings. If you see electrical wires on the ground, stay clear and contact 911 immediately. Trees and poles with deep charring, particularly if still smoking, should be considered hazardous. Please drive slowly and yield to emergency personnel in the area.

The 101 is opened again near the Oak Fire outside Willits. Cal Trans announced the reopening last night as the fire’s containment grew. The fire is still at 863 acres and is now 25% contained. The fire burning north of Brooktrails into a canyon along the highway. Cal Fire had announced the highway would be closed indefinitely, but lower temperatures and smoke hovering in the area due to other fires helped firefighters get a foothold on the fire. 2 structures are known to have burned, but Cal Fire’s damage inspection teams are going to survey the area to see if there are more. 

There are new evacuations in Humboldt County due to fires in the Shasta Trinity and Mendocino Forests. Garberville is also under an evacuation warning. What was part of the August Complex and now part of a new Complex instead. The two fires burning in Glenn, Lake, Mendocino, Tehama, Trinity and Humboldt counties. The Mendocino County Sheriff ordered evacuations yesterday. The August Complex has jumped the Black Butte River and M1 Forest Road. It’s also burning in the Yuki Wilderness, and possibly into the Middle Fork Eel River Canyon.  Aircraft has not been able to assess the area due to heavy smoke and wind. The Elkhorn and Hopkins are part of the new Rock Complex. The Hopkins Fire had zero percent containment and burned almost 50,000 acres and the Elkhorn has burned 69,735 acres and is 58% contained.

A badly decomposed body’s been found in the Mendocino National Forest, it had nothing to do with the fires. It was last month, August 9th, that deputies got a call that possible human remains were found. So detectives from the Department’s Major Crimes Unit responded and determined the remains were human and badly decomposed. There was an autopsy that week revealing it was 48 year old John Dickerson of Nice who was a murder victim. Detectives have not released how he died and are still investigating. They ask anyone who may have known him to call.

Still thousands evacuated near the Brooktrails neighborhood and more warned to be ready. Several others told to leave their home near Covelo due to the August Complex which started almost 3 weeks ago. The August Complex which has now been split into two Complex’s has burned nearly 422,000 acres, the second most acreage in the state. It’s only 24% contained. As we reported yesterday all US Forests are now closed in the state. There were 8 closed Monday, then yesterday another 10, including the Mendocino National Forest due to explosive growth of fires throughout the state.

Another fire is threatening thousands of homes in 3 counties, Butte, Plumas and Yuba. The North Complex has killed three people and several others have been critically burned. Several structures have burned and at least 20,000 people have been evacuated or warned they may have to leave their homes. The fire has burned more than 252,000 acres and is only 24% contained. Part of the town of Paradise, which was mostly destroyed by the Camp Fire in 2018, is under an evacuation warning. 85 people died in that fire. The 3 deaths announced by the Butte County sheriff this time, but no further details were released. Several homes have been destroyed in the county.

The oldest state park in California is closed after damage brought by another fire, the CZU August Lightning Complex fires. The State Parks department says there was damage to Big Basin Redwoods State Park and the surrounding community in Santa Cruz. The redwoods in the park are unstable, so they have to be stress tested ahead of winter storms before the public can return. One of the scientists at the park says no prescribed burns, along with vegetation buildup were contributing factors for the worst fire in Big Basin park in recorded history. The park’s headquarters burned along with the main lodge, ranger station, nature museum and campground facilities.

PG&E says nearly 100% of those who lost power in the latest public safety power shutoff are back online. The utility activated the power down Monday night for 22 counties including some in Lake County, but not Mendo due to red flag weather conditions. Yesterday PG&E went about inspecting their equipment by air and the ground, on more than 10,750 miles of transmission and distribution power lines, but had to stop for a time because of unsafe flying conditions. They say they found no wind-related damage to their equipment. Only 24 residents of Lake County were affected and none were medical baseline customers. There are still some 5,000 customers in Butte, Humboldt, Napa, Plumas, Sierra, Trinity and Yuba counties without power, but it’s expected to be back on by noon today.

There’s been another death from COVID-19 in Mendocino County. The Public Health Dept. also announced only one new case yesterday, for a total of 778. The new death happened outside the county, but the health department did include it on the latest coronavirus dashboard data.

A big rig rollover closed Highway 1 about three miles from the 101 in Leggett.  The California Highway Patrol reported the rig was totally blocking the highway so there was no way to get through as the 101 was still closed at the time due to the Oak Fire. Neither is the case now, as the 101 was reopened around 830 or so last night and the big rig accident on the 1 was cleaned up about an hour later.

A local health emergency has been declared in Lake County due to smoke from the LNU Lightning Complex. The Public Health Officer Dr. Gary Pace declared the local health emergency yesterday saying it’s the first step in recovery for those who’ve been impacted by this fire. It will help the county get more resource. In the county 85,000 acres have burned and 9 structures were destroyed. The Board of Supervisors will also have to ratify the declaration, that happens at a special meeting today. Dr. Pace says cleanup of the destroyed homes could start as soon as tomorrow. Residents seeking more information related to community disaster resources should access the website

Even though the August Complex has been split into two Complexes, the Forest Service is reporting together, they’ve burned 471,185 acres. The massive fire is only 24 percent contained. They report wind continued yesterday causing significant spread due to more fire activity on the west side of the fire and heavy smoke across the area. The official split of the August and the new Rock Complex happens tomorrow morning with the Great Basin Incident Management Team assuming command. Crews found the fire had gone into the Yuki Wilderness and private lands to the north and west of the wilderness. Firefighters were trying to protect structures there, but some burned due to the rapid growth over two days, nearly 200,000 acres. Right now it’s not known how many structures have burned. Evacuation orders are in effect for multiple counties.  There is a virtual community meeting tonight at 7 pm on the Mendocino National Forest Facebook page, located at:

A harmful algae has been detected in the Navarro River. The California Department of Parks and Recreation says high levels of cyanotoxins can be unhealthy for pets and humans. They warn not to touch the water or let pets drink the water or go into the river. And not to eat fish or shellfish from the river or use river water for drinking or cooling. And the Parks and Rec Dept. warns even boiling or filtering the water, won’t make it safe.  If you happen to come into contact with infected water, you should get out and rinse off immediately and quickly seek medical attention if there are adverse effects.

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