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The US Forest Service and CAL FIRE working together on the biggest fire to ever burn in California. Their coordinated response to manage and suppress the August Complex which has three zones for management purposes, the North, South and West Zones. All together the fire has burned 755,603 acres with 30% containment. The fire size slightly down after more accurate mapping and establishing management zones. Firefighters are mopping up all along the fire’s perimeter with ground and aerial resources. Some of it being done by soldiers from Washington’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord. A dozer line is being completed around the Salt Creek Conservation Camp and a structure protection group has been established in the Pillsbury Lake Basin. Crews are monitoring and patrolling the fire area. The fire has also crossed containment lines in the Yuki Wilderness and made a run to the west. Greg Gonzalez one of the managers on the incident…  Firefighters are working in smoky conditions again today with low relative humidity and cooler temperatures in the the upper 70s to mid-80s. There is wind expected of 10-15 mph with gusts up to 20 mph. Fire activity will continue to remain high due to critically dry fuels.

Another day of critical fire weather due to dry conditions, low humidity and less smoke hovering over the fire zone. The joint handling of the massive August complex by the Forest Service and Cal Fire with priority in the North Zone for structure protection, line construction (away from the fire’s edge), direct line construction and tactical firing operations. The President met with the Governor today on the various fires burning across the state too.

A rare “fire tornado” hits the Central Valley near Huntington Lake in Fresno County. That from the Creek fire which spread fast last week. High flying flames mixed with fast moving wind caused trees to be uprooted. The Huntington Lake Volunteer Fire Department Chief and others in his department caught pictures and videos they were going to show evacuees. The fire tornado, aka fire whirl due to intense heat which causes hot air to surge up from the ground and form a whirl or tornado-like rotating column of air. The State Fire Marshall’s inspectors say the fire behavior is the worst they’ve seen in their careers. 

At a special meeting of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors they declared a local emergency due to wildfires. They also agreed to a local health emergency related to the fires, air quality and increased risk of spreading Covid-19. The new health officer Dr. Andy Coren says the fires are a hazard to human life.

He also commented on the threat of spreading COVID amongst evacuees…

The Oak Fire has stayed at 1,100 acres and is at 95% containment as of the last report last night. At the meeting Friday, the chief of Cal Fire’s Mendo Unit, George Gonzalez said firefighters were working in difficult terrain. He also spoke about the massive August Complex which triggered new evacuations this weekend outside Covelo. The fire has several zones since it’s so big, burning almost 756,000 acres with very low containment still. Thankfully there has been no loss of life due to this fire.

Sheriff Matt Kendall at the meeting with the supervisors explaining the zones and how they’re divided… 

The Emerald Triangle of Mendocino Trinity and Humboldt County inundated with smoke, but the sheriff says that’s actually helped slow forward movement of the fires.

For the first time in months there were no new cases of Covid-19 in Mendocino County, then the weekend arrived and there were several. The 11 new cases this weekend bring the county total to 789.

More evacuations ordered by the Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall due to the August Complex, West Zone.  The Eden Valley Area, Bennett Valley, and the West Face Of Sanhedrin Mountain. There are also warnings for several areas on the Sheriff’s Facebook page. There are also road closures near Williams Creek, Bell Springs, Mendocino Pass Road and Hearst Willits Road at the bridge. As far as the Oak Fire goes, all of the Evacuation Orders and Warnings have been lifted. There had been only one zone left under Evacuation Order, but several warnings were still in place, now that’s all over and all road closures were also lifted. There may be some slow going though as fire crews and utility workers are still working there while unburned areas continue to burn inside the containment lines.

The biggest fire to ever burn in Calif. the August Complex now at over 755,000 acres with only 30% containment. The fire’s front is one hundred miles long as it moves towards the Central Valley. It’s burned across the Mendocino National Forest, the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness, the Shasta-Trinity National Forest and Six Rivers National Forest. It’s burning towards the Emerald Triangle marijuana region at a time of harvest. The fire almost double the size of the state’s largest fire before this, the 2018 Mendocino Complex in Lake and Mendocino counties. The fire is burning outside Covelo now and toward Alder Point in Humboldt County. It’s also threatening critical communications where there were mandatory Evacuation Orders this weekend.

Sheriff Matt Kendall and others from his department hoping to educate and prepare people who migrate to the Emerald Triangle for the harvest. There are typically only 14-1,500 who regularly live in Covelo, but this time of year, there could be 10,000 or so. The Sheriff commented yesterday that the cooler weather and calmer winds helped firefighters into difficult to reach terrain to build breaks and protect communities, but windier days are coming. The Complex began due to lightning nearly a month ago along with the LNU Lightning Complex which is barely alive, but still burning.

There are no shelters set up in Lake County during high heat. The Record Bee reports the onsite manager of Elijah House for the homeless of Lake County told them they’ve seen more people lately who cannot deal with the smoke. He says there are more and more people coming in daily, trying to find shelter or who’ve been evacuated. PG&E says 29 counties have cooling centers. They’re just sending info out to tell you how to prepare for a power outage, if they turn your electric off.

Two teenagers from Ukiah have been arrested for having illegal weapons and running from police in Hopland. Ukiah police report seeing a sedan driving without headlights early Friday morning, so they stopped the car. Then the driver took off at unsafe speeds through the residential neighborhood and headed onto the 101 driving faster than 100 miles an hour and crossing into the opposite side of the highway. CHP joined the chase, but when they hit the Hopland area, they stopped, hitting a fence., Cops detained the two, one a 17 year old, the driver, who was arrested for felony evading, being an unlicensed driver and several other felonies. The passenger, 18 year old Christian Hernandez arrested on weapon and drug charges. The two booked into jail, the 17 year old, to juvenile hall.

Lake County Board of Supervisors to get an update on COVID. They’re due to get updates weekly from the Public Health Officer, Dr. Gary Pace. They’ll meet tomorrow morning for the in person and online meeting. No community members are allowed in person. They ask those interested to submit questions beforehand, you can see the agenda on the county’s website. The board’s considering a resolution for straight-time overtime pay for management employees who work over their regular 40 hours a week because of local emergencies due to the LNU Lightning Complex Fire and COVID-19.

Cal Fire and the US Forest Service are working together to manage the massive August Complex fire. It’s been separated into three zones: South, North and West. The South Zone mostly in the Mendocino National Forest, from the South Yolla Bolly Middle Eel Wilderness to about Lake Pillsbury at nearly 756,000 acres for the entire Complex. Now the largest ever in Calif. Firefighters working on the Doe Fire which is about half of the whole Complex, mopping up around the containment lines, reducing fuels and increasing fire breaks, lines and where hoses can be used.  They’re using airplanes for drops when they can and are patrolling and monitoring the fire. There are new evacuation Orders and Warnings.

Firefighters still working the LNU Lightning Complex, which is just barely 100% contained. The fire started in the middle of August with others ignited by dry lightning strikes. The fire has burned 363,220 acres. The part of the fire that burned into Lake County, the Hennessey burned just over 305,650 acres. It also blackened land in Colusa, Solano and Yolo counties and the Walbridge fire in Sonoma County has burned more than 55,200.

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