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A case of Covid-19 has shown up at the Lake County Jail. The Lake County Public Health Officer Dr. Gary Pace reported to jail staff an inmate had tested positive for the virus three days before going into the jail. The case is the only one in the jail and the inmate is asymptomatic. The inmate’s in isolation for 14 days after first being in a dorm. The dorm reportedly holds up to 15 inmates, but for social distancing, they only had two others there. Those two have also been tested and isolated. So far none are showing any symptoms of being sick. They all get masks and have to wear them while around others. The inmate who tested positive had been assigned work to clean common areas, but was directed to wear a mask and gloves.

The CAL FIRE and US Forest Service team on the August Complex have mapped out the burn of the fire for the West Zone, which is burning in Mendocino, Humboldt-Del Norte and Trinity counties. It’s at 35,398 acres. There are firefighters from the state of California, Montana, Utah, Texas, and New Jersey. Firefighters report the fire was active yesterday with torching in some areas. There’s a low pressure weather system headed here with relative low humidity. Tonight the unified resources are having a Facebook Live town hall to update on the fire.

Because of the August Complex, there’s continued widespread haze and smoke throughout Mendocino County the next few days. It’s been hot, dry and smokey due to a high pressure which forecasters say is weakening. The AQMD says smoke from surrounding wildfires is also hovering over the county, but it could come lower into the county due to fluctuating wind directions, bringing “Unhealthy” to “Very Unhealthy” air to the area. Yesterday the air monitors showed particulate matter concentrations in the “Moderate” to “Unhealthy” range for most parts of the county. If we’re lucky, we could get some rain by the end of the week.

Closures of National Forests have been extended to properties managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Nearly 50 properties that are inside or near the Forests are closed through at least Monday due to historic fire conditions. The closures of wildlife areas or ecological reserves across the state along with the temporary closure of all national forests put into place about a week ago. So hunters or recreationalists are encouraged to check for closures before they head out. You can visit the Fish and Wildlife Dept website for tag return and preference point eligibility requirements and more. 

Info released from the Fort Bragg City Council after a letter was sent to the city regarding the Thin Blue Line Flag on police patrol cars. A city Councilmember brought the letter up to the full council that a concerned citizen wrote in regarding the Thin Blue Line American Flags on the City of Fort Bragg Police Department patrol vehicles. They remind the flag memorial was put onto patrol cars after Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino died. He was the first officer killed in the line of duty in Fort Bragg. The flag was created to honor those who protect and serve, not those who abuse their power. The department says it does not take away from their oath to Protect and Serve all persons of Fort Bragg and that they’ll continue to do this with the utmost respect for every person they encounter.  

Another death in the North Complex Fire east of Chico, just outside the burn scar of the Camp Fire 2 years ago. Now 15 people have died due to that fire, a victim found in the ruins.  Also the Butte County Superintendent of Schools has confirmed two elementary schools have burned, Berry Creek and Feather Falls. Crews however were able to get a better foothold as the weather was in their favor, but yesterday winds picked up again. They worked mostly in the Willow Creek area, but say the fire is still mostly within its own footprint, but there have been some spot fires. It’s at 273,335 acres and it’s 34% contained. The fire has extended out towards Lake Oroville, but did not burn in Paradise.

A man from Santa Rosa reported missing from family in the Kelseyville area…  A woman on Facebook reports her brother Josh Fowler has been missing for at least 2 weeks. She says he has most recently lived in Santa Rosa and may be in either a red pickup truck or a Volvo wagon. He has not been seen for three weeks by neighbors and his employer hasn’t spoken to him for nearly a month. He’s described as 5’7 about 135-140 pounds with dirty blonde/brown hair, blue eyes in his mid 30’s. His sister describes him as mentally unstable. If you’ve seen him, you’re asked to call Santa Rosa Police.

The Ukiah City Council to take up its plan on homelessness. Tonight at their virtual meeting, the “Strategic Plan to Address Homelessness” will be considered which was put together by a Continuum of Care of 31 public agencies and private non-profits in the county working with the unsheltered population. City staff note that services for the homeless go thru the county and the Continuum of Care, but homeless is felt most by police, fire departments and the streets and parks departments. A list of ways to combat homelessness was put together by the city a couple of years ago working with an expert in the field. The county has four goals, making the problem of homelessness “rare, brief and onetime” coming up with a community understanding of the issue, form an Outreach and Public Relations team for public presentations and teams or groups in each region to come up with strategies. The meeting tonight online at 6.

The Clearlake City Council considering a city code amendment for commercial cannabis rules and they’ll award a roads repair project after damage from the 2017 Sulphur fire. PG&E will also give an update on potential public safety power shutoffs. The council’s considering the final reading for a new Municipal Code on commercial cannabis businesses that would amend how many businesses could be in Clearlake. That includes delivery-only dispensaries. Right now the Municipal Code allows 3 retail dispensaries, 2 delivery-only dispensaries to two and 12 other cannabis businesses like those for indoor growing, distribution, manufacturing and labs. All would be the same except delivery and the other businesses would no longer be limited by number, instead on where they’re located. The council will meet beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17.

Because of the county’s shelter in place order, Clearlake City Hall remains closed to the public, however, the virtual meeting will be broadcast live on the city’s YouTube channel or the Lake County PEG TV YouTube Channel. Community members also can participate via Zoom.

Sherwood Firewise going over the evacuations as they related to the Oak Fire. The fire that burned 1,100 acres in Willits led to mandatory evacuations for the Brooktrails neighborhood. Firewise had their meeting last Thursday with a local volunteer firefighter who says their emergency access route, FIRCO, was useful. And board supervisor John Hashak said it was one of the successes of the fire, creating a shaded fuel break that the fire departments used which was important in fighting the fire.  There was some confusion though as to the evacuation zones not being permanent zones. But apparently that is something that’s being worked on. They also discussed internet access so evacuation maps can be viewed because the Nixle alert instructions were vague. About 3 dozen people utilized the evacuation center at Willits High.

Firefighters working the August Complex have four teams on the three zones. And with that they apparently counted some of the acreage twice. So the West Zone of the fire is actually at 42,171 acres. The fire was active overnight with isolated torching around the perimeter of the fire. Officials say there was moderate fire behavior and uphill slope-driven runs. They say since there’s a low pressure weather system they probably won’t make much progress today. And similar weather is expected tomorrow with low humidity. 7 structures have been destroyed in this Zone of the fire and 1 structure has been damaged. 14,000 structures are threatened. Full containment on this Zone is expected in 2 weeks from today, 9/30.

The South Zone continues to grow in some areas, but it’s staying the same in others. Firefighters were able to put in more control and containment lines yesterday and are doing some burning operations near Salt Creek. The fire’s moving toward Lake Pillsbury where extreme dry conditions and heavy fuels mean the fire’s growing. Firefighters trying to construct lines and using old 2018 Ranch fire lines. The fire also growing in the Yuki and Sanhedrin Wilderness Areas. Firefighters using air tankers for retardant drops. There are many evacuation orders and warnings for Mendocino, Lake, Humboldt and Trinity Counties. The South Zone has burned more than 531,000 acres. The August Complex-South Zone has a Virtual Public Meeting tomorrow at 7pm on the Mendocino National Forest Facebook page.

Police in Ukiah reportedly arrested a man with a strange looking gun. A patrol officer saw 19 year old Jonathan Cervantes of Ukiah and saw an open bottle of booze in the back seat of his car so he was detained. Then the cop saw a loaded 9mm handgun with an attached 32 round magazine under the driver’s seat during a search. The officer said the gun looked like a Glock, but it wasn’t fully functional and had no serial number or unique markings, something commonly referred to as a “Ghost Gun” since it cannot be traced. The man reportedly got the gun from someone else. He was arrested for various weapons charges and taken to jail.

A fire put out, but a possible arsonist on the run in Ukiah. Police reported getting a call to the fire in an area north of Mason Street between Clara Avenue and Ford Street. When they got there, they saw a wooden railroad trestle and several trees in flames. They evacuated residents and businesses. After the fire was put out, it was determined it had been an arson fire, now police are looking for a person of interest in the case.

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