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Public health experts say smoke from the wildfires choking California carries dangerous levels of particulate matter. Studies show firestorms drive a spike in visits to the emergency room – especially among the elderly. Dr. Janice Kirsch is a medical oncologist trained in public health. She says the toxins in the smoke can cause serious damage.

 :13  “Breathing these particulates can cause or exacerbate heart disease, respiratory disease, lung cancer and probably other cancers. Prolonged repeated exposure leads to dementia and other behavioral problems in children.”

Tag:  Kirsch says indoor air quality can be almost as bad as outdoors – so she advises people to use an air purifier and turn on your air conditioner if you have one, to improve circulation. And if you have to go outside, N-95 masks not cloth masks to protect against coronavirus will not stop particulate matter.

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Second Cut: Groups that fight climate change say the extreme drought, heat and wildfires are symptoms of a bigger problem. Kathy Dervin, with the nonprofit 350 Bay Area, says climate change is a public health emergency that demands rapid and transformative solutions.

 :13  “We have great goals for clean electricity, for cleaner fuels, for cleaner transportation. But we really need to front load those changes and not wait until the goal of 2045. We don’t have any time to wait.”

Tag:  In 2018, California lawmakers passed Senate Bill 100, which set a goal of 100 percent clean electricity by 2045. Now advocates say the state has made so much progress that they’re calling for a new deadline of 2030.

New evacuation orders for Mendocino County due to the August Complex… West Zone.

• ZONE- AB – South of the Middle Fork of the Eel River, west of Eden Creek, north of Salt Flat and east of Salt Creek.

• ZONE- AC – East of Brushy Mountain, south of the fire road on Salt Flat, west of Eden Valley and north of Bald Mountain.

There are also more road closures:

• Private driveway near Williams Creek is closed to north bound traffic

• Bell Springs closed to north bound traffic at Lundblade Ranch Road

• Mina Road is closed to north bound traffic at the bridge over the North Fork of the Eel River

• Mendocino Pass Road closed to east bound traffic just east of the Williams Creek Bridge

• Hearst Willits Road at the bridge, closed to east bound traffic

Oak Fire 100% – 1100 acres, 56 structures destroyed, 1 damaged.

CAL FIRE working with the US Forest Service and the Mendocino County and Humboldt County Sheriff Offices. There are resources from across the state, Montana, Utah, Texas, and New Jersey on the August Complex West Zone. The overall acreage of the August Complex has decreased due to more accurate mapping, intel and rezoning of the incident. But the fire was active yesterday, spotting and making uphill runs out of control with torching which is all expected to continue for the next few days. Damage Inspections teams are actively assessing the area. Aerial firefighting resources are being used as smoke conditions allow.  5 structures have been destroyed and 14000 are threatened. The fire has burned over 755,600 acres and is 30% contained.

There’s a virtual meeting on Facebook for the August Complex. Tomorrow night at 6 pm CAL FIRE is hosting the meeting where the Unified Commanders will provide details on the fire. They will take questions at the end of their comments. CAL FIRE is reminding the public to stay vigilant, adhere to road closures and any evacuation orders or warnings. A reminder if you see electrical wires on the ground, to steer clear and call 911 immediately. Trees and poles with deep charring, especially if they’re still smoking, should be considered hazardous. Please drive slowly and yield to emergency personnel in the area.

The August Complex has been updated with less acreage than we have been reporting due to better mapping. But the fire is active and only 30% contained. So far, the entire Complex has burned over 755,600 acres. But firefighters reported improved weather conditions yesterday so they could head towards the fire and fly over it to build lines and work aggressively to contain it. There’s been one section pushing deeper into the Mendocino National Forest northwest at the back of Sanhedrin Mountain and towards Dos Rios on privately owned land, so that means there are new mandatory evacuations south east of Dos Rios, north of Willits and south of Covelo. There are also road closures. The fire, the largest ever in Calif. with a 100 mile front from Trinity County to Lake County. Cal Fire reported active work east of Covelo, east of Hearst, east of the Island Mountain area, and east of King Rock into Trinity County. They say they’re trying to keep flames out of Covelo and Willits, but there is a mix of perfect conditions for fires to burn.

The President in Sacramento to get briefed on the wildfires by the Governor. He also recognized the Calif. National Guard for their work airlifting some campers who were stranded during the historical fires. The President blaming poor forest management for the deadly fires, but a lot of the fires right now are not burning in forests. He was asked about Climate Change and said the science is wrong and it will cool down…

The yearly budget meeting is being held by the Lake County Board of Supervisors. The hearings begin tomorrow and may spill into Thursday in the board chambers and online due to the pandemic. The County Administrative Officer Carol Huchingson is recommending a budget of over $292M, an increase of $34M over last year. Huchingson told the board after the pandemic first surfaced in the state there would be changes to the budget hearings, to extend them for presentations and to hear from the county department heads ahead of a final approval. The county has received some federal stimulus money and other cash from the state due to Covid-19. They were looking at possible cuts, but Huchingson says the stimulus money has helped. But departments are being told to stick with their same net costs as last year.

Congressman Mike Thompson is having another of his virtual town halls to talk climate change. The meeting this Thursday from 7 to 8 p.m. with special guest Rep. Kathy Castor (FL-14), who’s the chair of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. The congressman has had more than a dozen of these virtual town halls this year. It’ll be over Zoom and limited to 500 people, but they also stream on Thompson’s Facebook page. Thompson represents California’s Fifth Congressional District, which includes all or part of Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties.

The August Complex has been divided into three zones, the North, South and West for management purposes. CAL FIRE and the US Forest Service working together on the largest fire to ever burn in Calif. At 755,600 acres. It’s only 30% contained. Firefighters working with soldiers from Washington State’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord in the Mendocino Forest. They’ve built a dozer line around the Salt Creek Conservation Camp and another structure protection group is in the Pillsbury Lake Basin to help protect infrastructure there. Yesterday they reported that the fire had crossed containment lines in the Yuki Wilderness Sunday. It’s been a challenge due to winds, high temperatures and dry fuels.

An alleged arsonist in Ukiah has been arrested. Last week reports of a fire at the Redwood Tree Service Station. When firefighters got to the business in the 800 block of N. State St. they found a wooden gazebo on fire and part of the exterior of the building. There was major damage to the building as smoke got inside. Police detectives looked at video surveillance and saw someone on the property at the time the fire started. Enhanced video showed to patrol officers who matched the description to a man walking along that block of N. State St. A local homeless man David Zakedis was stopped and interviewed and he admitted he started the fire. Zakedis was arrested without incident for arson, committing arson during a state of emergency and a violation of probation and held in county jail.

AFTERNOON UPDATE:

More fighters keep being added to the state due to the historic fires. A month ago, lightning storms or as the state is calling it a siege, that ignited dozens of fires. Right now there are more than 16,600 firefighters still working on the front lines of 25 major wildfires. There was more activity yesterday on several wildfires, but others made progress toward full containment. The Oak Fire burned 1,100 acres near the Brooktrails neighborhood in Willits. It’s now 100% contained, but destroyed more than 50 structures. There us still a red flag warning in several areas of the state and temperatures were expected to warm too. But the weekend should be cooler, even as the state is dry and ripe for more fires. The August Complex has grown, it’s now burned nearly 803,500 acres, it’s 30% contained. The North/South Zone 754,480 acres, 30% contained, West Zone 49,009 acres, 0% contained. There’s been one fatality, early on in the fight. A firefighter from Texas.

That planned massive resort in Lake County is getting push back. The 16,000-acre project between Clear Lake and Napa Valley, the Guenoc Valley project by Lotusland Investment got the greenlight by the Board of Supervisors in July. It’s situated off Highway 29 outside Middletown and north of Calistoga. The proposal includes 400 hotel units in five “boutique” complexes and 450 resort units, 1,400 estate villas, 500 workforce units. The Press Democrat reports on the lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity to get the decision tossed out due to what they call an inadequate environmental document. Now the lawyer for the group has pointed to the Hennessey Fire as an example how fires could encroach upon the property. But project managers say there will be fire-safety elements and more staffing at the local fire protection district.

Part of the massive August Complex known as the South Zone, the largest part of the fire is just under 523,000 acres and 30% contained. Firefighters are focusing on that part of the fire which is in Lake County in the Lake Pillsbury Basin. CAL FIRE reports good progress in the northern area of the South Zone and mop up operations on the perimeter of the eastern side of the Crane Mills property. Wind gusts of up to 20 mph were expected, but some moisture is expected tomorrow, with higher humidity.  There are Evacuation Orders in effect for Mendocino, Lake, Glenn, Humboldt and Trinity Counties.

There are new evacuation warnings for Mendocino County in the West Zone southeast of Highway 162. They’re in what they’re calling Zone AN and Zone AQ, South of Highway 162 and the Eel River, west of Salt Creek, north of Brushy Creek and the Eel River, east of Highway 162; also North of the Eel River, south and east of Highway 162, west of Redwine Springs.

Areas of Mendocino County, Evacuation Order:
• ZONE- H- West of National Forest boundary, north of Thomas Creek and the Eel River, and east of Twin Bridges Creek, south of Bald Mountain
• ZONE- I- West of Elk Creek south of Deep Hole Creek, north of the National
Forest Boundary
• ZONE- W- West of the Eel River, north of Deep Hole Creek, east of Eden
Valley, including the entire valley floor, south of Eden Creek
Other Areas of Mendocino County, Evacuation Warning:
• South of the Middle Fork of the Eel River, west of Eden Creek, north of Salt Flat and east of Salt Creek, ZONE- AB
• East of Brushy Mountain, south of the fire road on Salt Flat, west of Eden Valley and north of Bald Mountain, ZONE- AC
• South and west of the Eel River, north of Foster Mountain Road, east of the
ridge west of Willits Road, ZONE- AD
• North of Twin Bridges Creek, east of the Eel River, south of Brushy Creek and west of Brushy Mountain, ZONE- AE

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