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The Gov. is campaigning against his own recall saying the election is “a matter of life or death”. He’s mostly been going after the top Republican candidate: former radio talk show host Larry Elder, seen to be the front runner. Mail-in voting has begun for the Sept. 14th election. Newsom has been campaigning to keep his job and even the President says he’ll campaign for Newsom, a fellow Democrat. Other big name Democrats say the state’s pandemic response, environmental leadership and progressive values are under serious threat if Newsom is ultimately booted. Elder would be California’s first Black governor, if he wins is reported to be anti-mask and anti vax.

Major fires are still burning across the state, including the massive Dixie fire. There are thousands of firefighters on the ground, working with gusty winds against the fire straddling Butte and Plumas counties. It’s burned almost 580,000 acres and is still only 31% contained. More than 1,000 buildings and homes have been destroyed, including almost the entire gold rush era town of Greenville. Firefighters challenged yesterday due to smoke and now they’re looking at a major wind event and heat in the triple digits. There was a fire weather watch yesterday, a step under a red flag warning. And with this PG&E announced widespread outages in up to 18 counties. The Dixie Fire is under investigation, but the utility previously said they thought it was their equipment that started, what is now, the single largest fire to ever burn in the state.

Police everywhere in Covelo. At least that’s what radio reports said, around the Tri-Counties Bank in town. Mendo Fever reports the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reported deputies at the bank for a vandalism call. A vandal reportedly broke the front doors but was unable to get thru a second set of doors. So nothing was stolen. The bank was closed at the time. No word if anyone was caught or any arrests were made.

Police in Fort Bragg out at a home for a welfare check and saw a man lying on the ground. They say when they got there they contacted Steven Carte, but say he didn’t require medical attention. They found he was a Sex Registrant with prior convictions because he never registered in Texas or Tennessee. Officers say he gave them a bunch of phony information about when he came to Calif, last registered, and said he was told he didn’t need to register anymore. For all of that Carte was arrested and booked into Mendocino County Jail.  

Due to all the smoke in the air from the various wildfires in Northern Calif., the Mendocino Air Quality Control District reported particulate matter concentrations in the “Moderate” to “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” air quality level for most parts of the County and “Good” for the coastal areas. The smoke impacts are mostly from surrounding wildfires to the north and east of Mendocino County, as fires grow in steep terrain. Smoke has moved out to sea though from the California/Oregon border area and continues to hover offshore. The District reports we should expect widespread haze and smoke to continue for most of Mendocino County with increasing impacts the end of the week.

A revised public safety power outage map has been released from PG&E as we hit extreme weather conditions that could ignite new wildfires. The amount of people impacted in Mendocino County has gone up to 699 and 48,000 customers in Northern CA. The utility reports notifying customers who signed up for notifications and to expect a power shut-off event within 24 hours. In Mendocino County, there are also 30 medical baseline customers. The utility company will have a charging center in Laytonville and many others throughout Lake and Sonoma counties. The Laytonville location will be open tonight and tomorrow night from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. with “blankets, snacks and water, Air-conditioning/heating, Device charging, Ice, ADA-accessible restrooms and washing stations, seating, small medical device charging and Wi-Fi”.

The PG&E Public Safety shutoff may already be in play for some customers. Yesterday the utility company announced they may be turning off power tonight to thousands. It’s due to an offshore dry windstorm expected tonight. The utility company’s meteorologists are tracking the weather system they say can bring winds of up to 40 miles per hour, with higher gusts in the foothills and mountains. There are fire weather watches in place for the areas of planned outages through tomorrow. On Sunday PG&E began to notify customers of the possible PSPS and revised it last night. There will be up to 48,000 people without lights in Colusa, Nevada, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Napa, Plumas, Sierra, Solano, Sonoma, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo and Yuba counties.

The Little Lake Fire Protection District Board considering an Explorer Program. At the Board meeting last week the board, the Fire Chief Chris Wilkes and members of the public discussed the topic which would be sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America. They didn’t vote yet, that would be at their next meeting. The board also discussed the budget, a grand opening of their new firehouse set to open early next month, and the amount of calls and fires last month. There were 16 fire calls, one was reported to be a major fire at a home on a windy night, catching a neighbors driveway on fire. The neighbor’s home was saved.

Lakeport City Councilmembers are considering new Community Development Block Grants and a utility rate increase. At the meeting tonight the council will consider the two grants, one for just over $241,000 and the other for a whopping $27 million, which is actually from 2017. The smaller grant us for a COVID grant the city applied for. The council will also hear a report on July 4th to include police and fire department operations during the event for the public’s use of fireworks.

As the Dixie Fire continues to burn there are a bunch of new mandatory evacuation orders. Cal Fire reported high winds starting around noon yesterday which caused more action on the fire’s east zone. Winds are expected with a new red flag warning issued through tonight at midnight. There was also a new fire last night near Thompson Peak which officials say was not a spot fire and was only 20 acres, but it was surrounded by wind. There were however spot fires near Dyer Creek and Mountain Meadow Reservoir. Cal Fire reports more mandatory evacuations in Janesville. The fire grew almost 8,700 acres yesterday and is still just 31% contained. It’s been burning over a month. There’s no containment date yet.

The Governor has signed an executive order so retired school staff may return to school to help where they have staffing issues and they won’t have to wait six months after their retirement. The requirement is waived, they just have to apply with the California Teachers Retirement System. Schools have been grappling with teacher shortages for years, which got worse in the early days of the pandemic. The shortages are especially felt in special education, math, science and bilingual education.

In Humboldt County, they’re getting hammered by the COVID19 virus. Kym Kemp reports hospitalizations are taxing the county’s health care system who are understaffed and overworked. The staffers are begging the community to get vaccinated, the news site says. There were 471 new cases and 2 deaths last week. The county has a 14.54% test positivity rate, more than double the state average. On Friday the county reported 31 residents were in the hospital with COVID, eight were in an ICU, and there are only six ICU beds available.

Another fire in the Sierra Nevadas, the Fly Fire may have also been started by PG&E equipment. Crews reportedly inspected their equipment and vegetation near where the Fly Fire started. But after the company was ordered by a court to report how it may have been involved in starting the Dixie Fire, it came to light that the company had not noted a white fir tree that later toppled onto utility lines, possibly igniting the fire that later merged with the Dixie Fire. There were a half dozen trees near where the Fly Fire started that were on the company’s nonurgent list, but were marked for trimming or removal since they were close to power lines. Court papers say one white fir fell on utility lines and a charred tree was collected as evidence, but not mentioned in any official report.

Lawmakers and staffers in the Assembly have to be vaccinated at the Calif. capitol. California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon of Lakewood says all Assembly employees have to be vaccinated against the virus or they may be fired.  They’ve got until the beginning of next month to begin getting their shots unless they can prove they have a medical condition where the vaccine is contra-indicated or a religious reason. Rendon says the requirement will provide “additional protection for anyone entering the Capitol” and the decision was made with “the support of Assemblymembers.” The State Senate is not going that route yet. The President Pro Tem says she’ll “continue to monitor the situation to determine whether a vaccination mandate is needed.”

Gusty conditions for firefighters on the Dixie Fire. The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag warning because of critical fire conditions with winds potentially gusting up to 40 mph. There was a new weather system due to the fire over Susanville, where about 18,000 people live. There were evacuation orders for the close by town of Janesville. Susanville is the seat of Lassen County and could be the biggest city the fire gets near. There are a couple of state prisons there, a federal prison and a casino. While the fire has remained at 31% containment for several days, the acreage that’s been burned keeps leaping. Its now well over 604,000 acres, creeping closer to the largest complex fire, the August, which burned over a million acres last summer.

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