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Another death has occurred in Lake County due to coronavirus. The Public Health Officer Dr. Gary Pace also reports the county will not move to the Purple Tier and will instead remain in the Red Tier. Pace says to stay in the Red Tier there needs to be less than 6 new cases/day. From 9/20-9/26, there were 39 new cases.  This is according to new state framework Pace says, which is supposed to be announced today. The case rate peaked he says a few weeks ago, mostly because of a nursing home outbreak, and also because of some community spread.  The number of new cases has been decreasing since then. The 12th death was reported over the weekend in someone who had been in the hospital for some time, they were over 65, but not connected to the nursing home outbreak.

Firefighters on the Glass fire say they’ve been headway on the fire which has burned almost 67,000 acres. The fire in Sonoma and Napa counties is 41% contained. More than 550 homes have been destroyed, 300 in Sonoma County and 256 in Napa County. CAL FIRE reports there are also nearly 22,000 structures threatened. They also report there are nearly 3,000 under mandatory evacuation orders in Sonoma County and east Santa Rosa and several thousand people are under warnings, including in Lake County. Residents in Kenwood, Oakmont and Calistoga have been allowed to go home.

A new report says the rate of Covid-19 spread in Sonoma County is the fifth highest in the state. The state Dept. of Public Health’s modeling website shows Sonoma County is currently stable, but infections will go up. The county behind Shasta, Lassen, Inyo and Amador counties. The county is also the only one of nine in the Bay Area that remains in the Purple Tier. Dr. Sundari Mase, the county’s Public Health Officer says she sees a trend in the Bay Area and the state of California of slightly increased case numbers, which may be because of Labor Day events. But she says it could also be due to the wildfire evacuations.

While many in the state are still evacuated or have suffered losses again due to wildfires, Pacific Gas and Electric Company is sharing recovery support and resources for those who go home or are rebuilding after wildfires. The utility is offering financial assistance for some customers or lowered rates. They’re also offering those with medical conditions a lowered monthly rate without income qualifications. They also are offering billing support, credit relief and ways to return home safely.

For more information about how PG&E can help with the rebuild and recover phase, please call 800-743-5000, email rebuild@pge.com or visit pge.com/wildfirerecovery and pge.com/consumer-protections.

A woman in Mendocino County could be facing prison time for abusing a dog. The Mendocino County DA’s office reports Katie Rhiannon Smith of Caspar was supposed to be in court today but pleaded no contest yesterday to felony animal abuse in the case of ‘Thunder the Wonder Dog: the Cone Dog from the Woods.’ The DA charged the woman and she’s now admitted she maliciously and intentionally maimed, mutilated, tortured, or wounded a living animal. The maximum sentence she can get is up to 3 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000. It could have been ten years if it went to jury trial. A gun use allegation was dismissed after the injured and abused dog was found last December. It had been shot and was suffering from dehydration and malnutrition. She’ll be sentenced December 2nd.

The August Complex is not up to almost 1,003,400 acres with 58% containment. The US Forest Service reports the fire has burned since August 17th and CAL FIRE says it’s destroyed 242 structures and damaged six others. The fire is the largest to ever burn in the state and is only about half contained. It’s more than twice the size of the last fire that was in the history books as the largest, the 2018 Mendocino Complex, which burned 459,123 acres. There are still mandatory evacuation orders for the August Complex in both Lake and Mendocino counties.

State Senator Mike McGuire is expected to speak at the next Middletown Area Town Hall. The meeting over Zoom this Thursday night. McGuire expected to talk about fire safety and mitigation, schools and the homeless. The meeting which starts at & pm will also feature other speakers and candidates for certain boards and districts. The Town Hall one of many in Lake County that act as an advisory council for the residents of each town. The Middletown Area also includes Anderson Springs, Cobb, Coyote Valley (including Hidden Valley Lake), Long Valley and Middletown.

The last day to register to vote is nearing. In Lake County, the Registrar of Voters Office has put out a reminder that Monday, Oct. 19th is the final day you can register to vote in the Nov. 3 presidential election. Any new voters, new residents of the county and registered voters who may have moved, changed their mailing address, or changed their name, have to register or reregister to vote no later than Oct. 19th. You can call the office to make sure your info is in order too. If you miss the deadline, you still can vote by conditionally registering, using a provisional ballot at the Registrar of Voters Office.

A bill sponsored by Congressman Jared Huffman has passed the house and heads to the Senate. Huffman says the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act will make sure PacifiCorp energy company is held accountable for negative impacts of four dams on the Klamath River. The Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement Tribal Fairness Amendment will also help Indigenous communities who may have suffered due to the outdated dams. The congressman says the old dams have impacted, not only the river itself, but also the salmon fishing industry and local tribal communities. 

A new plan for how to manage groundwater in several counties, including Mendocino County. The Mendocino Voice reports the Groundwater Sustainability Agency in Ukiah is working on a plan per a state requirement that dates back to 2014. The Groundwater Sustainability Agency asked the public for input. The agency has until 2022 to come up with the plan and then has another 18 years or so to put the plan into action, and prove it. And if the agency cannot come up with a plan to manage groundwater for safe, long term use, the state will take over. The Ukiah groundwater basin encompasses Redwood Valley, Calpella, and Ukiah, and is part of the Russian River watershed.

A big turn out for a giveaway of personal and home goods by the Elijah House of Lakeport, along with Worldwide Healing Hands and Adventist Health Clear Lake. The Record Bee reports the event Saturday at Austin Park drew about 1,000 cars. It was a two day event. But there was another one day event at the Twin Pine Casino in Middletown where another 400 cars came out. Volunteers from the Elijah House Lakeport shelter helped others in need. It was pretty smoky at the event due to area fires. Cars drove right up to tables and volunteers handed over items. Those handing out items adhered to public health guidelines with masks and socially distanced.

The August Complex Wildfire keeps exploding in size. The fire which we reported yesterday had reached over one million acres, then this morning added another 3,400.  Now the latest update from CAL FIRE is that the fire has burned even more acreage, to hit 1,006,140 acres. The fire remains 60% contained. CAL FIRE reports the fire continues to burn in Mendocino, Humboldt and Colusa Counties under their management and other counties with the US Forest Service managing. They had it split into 3 zones, now it’s 4. There was a 6 acre spot fire in the Rattlesnake Creek drainage which firefighters made quick work of. Roads around that area had been closed already.  There was also some spotting over fire lines near Round Mountain in rugged, difficult to reach terrain. Also spot fires were reported around the Ruth Lake area near the Journey’s End Motel and Diner, but the fuel reduction in the area has so far saved that structure.

The nearly 67,000 acre Glass Fire continues to burn but with little growth so far today. The fire burning a week and a half is 50% contained. CAL FIRE reports working containment up 9% since Monday night. The fire’s burned more homes though, 600 total now. 310 in Sonoma County and 290 in Napa County. Firefighters say nearly 22,000 structures are still threatened. Almost 3,000 people are still out of their homes in Sonoma County and east Santa Rosa and 13,000 more are under evacuation warnings. There are more than 4,400 people without power in Napa and Sonoma counties too. It was still supposed to be pretty warm today, but cooler temperatures with more humidity are expected for the rest of the week.

The Mendocino County Elections Office reports mailing all registered voters out their General Election ballots. They say it should take a week at the latest to receive it. They ask to watch your mailbox to make sure you receive it, if you don’t want to vote in person. You can drop your ballot off in front of City Hall in the slot for utility bills in Fort Bragg. The election takes place November 3rd. The elections office also reports having protocol in place that follows a strict chain of custody. The city clerk says they’re going to batch and count ballots several times a day by two city employees, including herself. There aren’t any local measures, just major issues and of course, president.

Two evacuation orders on the August Complex fire have been reduced to warnings. The Sheriff announced areas around Elk Creek, Thomas Creek, Garcia Creek, Lookout Creek and Swallow Rock. 

West of Elk Creek, north of the county line and the National Forest Boundary, east of Thomas Creek, Garcia Creek and the National Forest Boundary, south of the National Forest Boundary. And east of Elk Creek, north of Lookout Creek, west of the M1 Road, south of Long Doe Ridge and Swallow Rock.  

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