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The team working on the August Complex, CAL FIRE and the U.S. Forest Service report the West Zone of the fire is now at 103,780 acres, spans approximately 195 miles of fire line and is 45% contained. There are still evacuation orders and warnings and others are being reduced as fire conditions change. Firefighters conducted additional firing operations in the Mill Creek area, above Lake Pillsbury, trying to burn out the isolated pockets of unburned fuels. Further north, ground resources and aircraft worked to improve and widen containment lines. Firefighters performing direct fire attack and mop up where fire conditions safely allow. 8,900 structures remain threatened.

A man in Lakeport says another man burglarized him of several firearms and knows who did it. The victim told police he thinks 18 year old Michael Dore was to blame. But Dore denied it. Deputies found ammo, but no guns at his home. The burglary victim called later to say Dore recently shot at another man at Highland Springs Reservoir and the victim could confirm. Indeed, that victim said he was at a party where a car drove towards him with Dore as the passenger; and he fired shots at him. Deputies again went to question Dore. He admitted he was at the scene, but didn’t shoot anyone, he was arrested anyway. Later in the day a loaded firearm was found in Lucerne near where Dore had first been stopped. A Glock handgun reported stolen almost a year ago was recovered and Dore admitted he tossed it. He’s charged with several crimes and held on $250,000.

The elections office in Mendocino County looking for some folks to help with the upcoming election. The office in Ukiah says they need 2 Extra Help as they’re mailing 52,000 + ballots to registered voters in Mendocino County on October 5th. The office says once the ballots start coming back they need some dedicated people to help. You will be working with experienced Election workers who will train you on how to work in teams to scan barcodes on each ballot envelope, check signatures, file and maintain a precise chain of command with opening and preparing the ballots to be counted. They will also gather supplies for the Polling Locations and help with required canvass procedures after Election Day. The work is for 6 weeks starting mid October to the end of November. You need to be at least 18 years old, registered to vote and organized.

We follow all the County Public Health orders, practice social distancing and clean frequently. Please call our Elections Office at 707 234-6819.

The Mendocino County Elections Office says they’ve been receiving questions about the upcoming election. As a reminder Official Ballots will be mailed October 5th to all registered voters in the State of California due to the pandemic. If you don’t receive it by October 15th, they would like you to be in touch for a replacement ballot. The ballot can be mailed back or brought to a Ballot Drop Box Location after you fill it out. The ballot can be processed as soon as the Elections Office gets it. There is no postage necessary.

PG&E warning about possible public safety power shutoffs this weekend or next week due to predicted fire watch weather. The utility will first send a notification two days before any event, then one day before. After the Watch notification, the company will send a Warning if forecasted conditions show they will need to power you down. The Warning notifications are to be sent about four to 12 hours before the power is shut off. The company says the Watch and Warning notifications are directly tied to weather forecasts which can change fast. They will do it by automated calls, texts and emails.  During the shut off event they will continue to provide updates to customers at least once a day until power is restored.

Sonoma County’s in the purple tier, the most restrictive for reopening businesses as the county apparently cannot meet requirements. The Press Democrat reports the county may be catching up though and might be able to reopen some businesses as soon as next week, depending on a couple of key metrics. The county has to prove the spread of coronavirus has slowed since the beginning of the month, and that it’s stable. The Public Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase says the county is very close to meeting the requirements. It’s one of two Bay Area counties stuck in what was the state’s watch list, and now is the purple tier. Contra Costa is the other.

Firefighting resources remain a challenge in California, so Mexico says it’s sending 101 firefighters to the United States to help on the Calif. wildfires. The Environment Department in Mexico reported yesterday they’re sending five teams of 20 trained, equipped firefighters from their national forestry commission to work with the U.S. Forest Service. They’re first reporting to Sequoia National Park where the SQF Complex of fires started by lightning continue burning. The country reports they were able to send crews because only one of Mexico’s 32 states has active wildfires. Summer and early fall are when it’s typically wet and rainy in most of Mexico.

An online meeting scheduled once again to update the public on the August Complex. The South Zone team is hosting the online meeting tonight at 7 on the Mendocino National Forest Facebook page. The fire as a whole has added several thousand acres the last few days, with a fire weather warning coming this weekend. The fire started well over a month ago and is still less than 50% contained. Full containment is not expected until the middle of November. 35 structures have burned and 1,600 more are threatened. There are evacuation orders on the South Zone in both Lake and Mendocino Counties.

The state is allowing more businesses to reopen. That includes some of the largest counties in the Bay Area and Southern Calif. The state health secretary, Dr. Mark Ghaly also announced earlier this week that nail salons could also reopen, but cautions, flu season is arriving, and cases are rising in Europe and other parts of the U.S. The reopenings are based on the amount of positive tests and per capita new cases per county reporting. A county has to report less cases and stability in new cases before they can move to the next tier, but most counties are no longer in the purple tier. Los Angeles County has been in the purple tier but could be out, along with Sonoma County next week.

A new report shows the heavy smoke from wildfires across the state has killed more people than the fires. Health experts reported between the beginning of August until Sept. 10th at least 1,200 and maybe as many as 3,000 people have died in the state. The report by researchers at Stanford University says the deaths were in those over 65, most of them had pre-existing conditions like heart disease, diabetes and respiratory ailments. 26 people have died in direct relation to wildfires this year across Calif.

afternoon update

The name has been released of a man killed earlier this week during what the sheriff’s office has called a family dispute. 44 year old Jamie Wilcox of Ukiah is the man who police say was killed by Thomas Dean Jones. They say another man, a 28 year old was also shot. They have not released his name. An autopsy has been set for this afternoon on Wilcox. The 28 year-old man is being treated and is expected to recover from his injuries.  

Schools in Lake County that have made adjustments due to the pandemic may have to again. And now reports of a student at Clearlake High who’s contracted COVID. The Public Health Office has reported a student tested positive and contact tracing has begun. All students and families in the students small instructional group have been notified. On Tuesday, Dr. Gary Pace at the Board of Supervisors meeting talking about how the county is closing in on the Purple Tier, like the state’s watch list, which has the strictest guidelines. It could mean businesses that closed, and reopened, would have to close again. And it could mean schools go back to distance learning. Lake Co News reports last month Lucerne Elementary and Upper Lake Unified became the first two county school districts to reopen in a hybrid model.  But Dr. Pace says the schools that already opened shouldn’t be affected, but others may be delayed. 

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