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A little bit more containment, and no more growth for the Hopkins fire in Mendocino County. The fire has burned 257 acres and has destroyed nearly a dozen homes and other buildings. Fire officials say the fire’s still threatening 200 more structures and many people are still not allowed to return home after being evacuated Sunday. Cal Fire officials say the area is still too dangerous so to maintain safety, they were keeping locals away for now. The fire started in Calpella and has burned to the northwestern shore of Lake Mendocino and even burned part of the reservoir which is dry due to the historic drought. The Lake Mendocino Park Manager said it hasn’t threatened dam infrastructure at the south end of the lake and water releases into the upper Russian River were still happening.

Republicans are reportedly trying to get people to vote, at the same time saying there may be widespread voter fraud in today’s recall election. Party leaders were promoting phony claims the race was rigged or somehow tainted by misconduct. That’s being promoted by their front runner Larry Elder, who said if he loses, it’s because of “shenanigans, as there were in the 2020 election.” Even former President Trump, jumped into the fray saying you could make and fill out your own ballot here, which is not true.  Republicans are encouraging everyone to vote and the secretary of state has said the election is secure.

2 more people have died from COVID19 in Mendocino County. The Public Health Dept. reports a 53 year old Willits man was the 68th person to die from COVID19. He was not vaccinated. They got reports too that a 69 year old man from Ukiah was the 69th death and he too was not vaccinated. Public Health continues to remind not to put yourself in situations where you might be exposed to the virus, stay home if you’re sick, wear a mask and get vaccinated.  130 additional cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Mendocino County, bringing the total to 6,599.

There’s a new Sheriff in town… well not really, But a new police officer who will be the full-time school resource officer for the Lakeport Unified School District. Aaron Hodges was appointed as the new resource officer and started already, yesterday. He himself went to Lakeport schools and graduated from Clear Lake High. The Lakeport Police Chief Brad Rasmussen says the school resource officer position was funded through a partnership between the Lakeport Unified School Board and the Lakeport City Council. The chief says anyone interested in learning more about the school resource officer program can call the police department.

A dedication ceremony has been held for the new Little Lake Fire Protection District building. On Saturday, Sept. 11th, some local Boy Scouts lined Main and Commercial Streets with American flags and there was a gathering of community members at the new Firehouse 54. They had a Flag Ceremony and 911 Tribute… then the Firehouse Dedication and Ribbon (Hose) cutting.  They also enjoyed a BBQ lunch put on by the Rotary Club and guided tours of the new building. They also hosted a silent and live auction, fire dancers, bounce houses and face painting.

A report says if the governor wins today’s recall election, he may have to pay some supporters back with a major benefit. Some healthcare workers publicly supporting the governor against the recall are reportedly pressuring him to follow up on his campaign pledge 3 years ago for a government-run, single-payer health care system. The National Union of Healthcare Workers is reportedly urging Gov. Newsom to get federal permission for that system. And the California Nurses Association has also been pressuring the Gov. to back legislation to scrap private health insurance and replace it with a single-payer system. The system could cost the state $400 billion a year.

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors is having a public hearing regarding the 2021 redistricting process, the first in a series to reshape district boundaries for county supervisors, state legislators and congressional representatives. The info comes from the 2020 US Census. This is a time for local voters to have their say in the district redrawing process. The county is planning to finish up the entire process by mid-December and want the public to send in their own maps and ideas for “communities of interest”. The Board is also looking at a possible resolution against a “coal train” on the North Coast, and potentially changing the county’s commercial cannabis land use development ordinance passed in the spring, after a recent petition. 

Almost $700,000 is being spread out over a half dozen North Coast fire departments. The California Fire Foundation had announced several dozen fire departments, fire agencies and community groups would get a piece of the pie. That would come from the Wildfire Safety and Preparedness Program, administered and managed by the foundation. Pacific Gas and Electric Company also reportedly donates $1.4 million in charitable funding. Grants in the North Coast for education, planning or community outreach campaigns and specialized firefighting equipment went to Mendocino County’s Elk Volunteer Fire Department, $15,000; Humboldt County’s Arcata Volunteer Firefighters’ Association, $10,000; Briceland Volunteer Fire Department, $10,000; Fortuna Fire Protection District, $12,525. Lake County’s Lake Pillsbury Fire Protection District, $15,000 and in Del Norte County, to the Yurok Fire Department, just under $12,000.

Students are back in person in Kelseyville. Administrators have also added more for kids who need further help, including on-demand academic tutoring and mental health counseling, all for free. The school district started working with last year so kids could access help 24/7. It includes homework support and test prep, essay revisions and concept explanations and more. Spanish speakers can access bilingual tutors in math, science and social studies, as well as ESL/ELL support. They’re also working with Gaggle Therapy for counseling services with a parents permission.

Donations are being taken by the Community Foundation for those impacted by the latest fire in Mendocino County, the Hopkins fire. The fire broke out Sunday and burned 257 acres. There’s still no total on homes destroyed, but multiple homes, reportedly after the fire ate through dry grass and trees in Calpella, up to Lake Mendocino. The Community Foundation’s Disaster Fund is taking money for fire survivors who need immediate relief and recovery. The Foundation says they’re meeting with local agencies to determine the overall impact and will then distribute immediate assistance to households in need. So far the fire is 30 percent contained. The Foundation has previously helped those affected by the 2017 Redwood Complex Fire, 2018 Mendocino Complex Fire, and 2020 Oak and August Complex fires.

Donations can be made at or by mailing a check to 204 S. Oak Street, Ukiah, CA 95482.

The last update from Cal Fire was that the fire was still burning, but contained mostly, even though only at 30%. The fire has not expanded beyond its 257 acres in at least a day. The Cal Fire spokesperson did say however there were spots in Lake Mendocino that, even though they were sort of moist, burned anyway. The muddy areas, she says were dry enough to start a fire. In the past water bodies could stop a fire, but the current drought has left the lake bed dry. 200 structures remain threatened as the damage assessment team works to determine how many had burned. One report says at least 20 structures were gone.  The fire is still under investigation. There are still many areas under mandatory evacuation. There are several evacuation centers including at the Mendocino County Office of Education.

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