Mendocino – The Mendocino Voice https://www.mendovoice.com Useful news, for all of Mendocino. Mon, 04 Nov 2019 04:27:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 Trump to California, “clean” the forest floors — president once more threatens to cut disaster funding https://www.mendovoice.com/2019/11/trump-to-california-clean-the-forest-floors-president-once-more-threatens-to-cut-disaster-funding/ https://www.mendovoice.com/2019/11/trump-to-california-clean-the-forest-floors-president-once-more-threatens-to-cut-disaster-funding/#comments Mon, 04 Nov 2019 02:16:47 +0000 https://www.mendovoice.com/?p=257797 Trump once again denounces California's fire management.

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MENDOCINO Co., 11/03/19 — It's been a long couple weeks in California, with the power outages and many vegetation fires springing up around the state. Now President Donald Trump has once again re-ignited the debate over exactly why California catches fire, via, of course, Twitter. Trump went as far as to once again threaten to cut federal disaster funding to California, and to insist that we "clean" our forests.

The tweets were quickly responded to by a slew of California elected officials, including Governor Gavin Newsom at whom they were aimed, Senator Kamala Harris, and State Senator Mike McGuire, you can see their tweet responses below.

As with previous presidential statements made regarding the Golden's State's tendency to burn, and whether "raking" the forest would help anything, the conversation has touched on federal emergency funding, forest management policies, public land ownership, what blame can be put on what leadership, the climate crisis, and what exactly anyone can do to stop it.

Two facts are worth noting in this debate, just to establish parameters: First, the federal government actually owns a majority of California's forest land, and local officials have often found themselves at odds with the feds when trying to manage that land; and second, the most of the most destructive fires of the past couple years have no in fact burned in the forest. The Ranch Fire began on a ranch in chaparral, the Redwood Fire likewise began near farmland in dry grass and scrub, the Woolsey Fire last year in SoCal and the Getty and Easy fires this year, all burned in chaparral, near suburbs and farmland, the Camp Fire that destroyed Paradise burned some in the forest, but also in chaparral and oak woodland and then became a house-to-house fire in the community of Paradise, and the Kincade Fire that still burns to the south burned in mostly chaparral and some farmland, and oak woodland, largely on private property.

The social media flurry, now encapsulated in a number of articles (see Washington Post, Los Angeles Times) began with several tweets from Trump, shortly after 6 a.m.:

In response, a number of local officials have issued statements, including Governor Gavin Newsom, who was the main target of the president's ire, and who declared a statewide emergency on October 27 due to the ongoing wildfires and power shut-offs. Newsom wrote back two hours later:

The state senator from the North Coast, Mike McGuire, fired back on his Twitter, where he has been extremely active providing during the recent PG&E power shut-offs and Kincade wildfire, as he has in past local emergencies. Based on his posts, McGuire is still waiting for natural gas to be restored to his house in Sonoma County, and responded to the president with vitriol:

Senator Harris, who is running for president, tweeted back:

And there are surely more tweets and counter tweets, though and exhaustive list would take all week to compile.

But on the topic of tweets, State Senator McGuire also said this about PG&E's CEO and got a second from our assemblyman, Jim Wood:

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Firefighters respond to vegetation fire east of Little Lake Valley, fire controlled (updated 3:15pm) https://www.mendovoice.com/2019/11/firefighters-responding-to-small-vegetation-fire-east-of-little-lake-valley/ https://www.mendovoice.com/2019/11/firefighters-responding-to-small-vegetation-fire-east-of-little-lake-valley/#respond Fri, 01 Nov 2019 21:37:00 +0000 https://www.mendovoice.com/?p=256801 The fire remains small and the winds are favorable.

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UPDATE 3:15 p.m. -- Some ground firefighters will remain on the scene to mop up, but the aircraft have all been recalled to base.

UPDATE 2:40 p.m. -- Cal Fire has now recalled the air tanker that was circling the fire, though the helicopter remains on the scene. They have also cancelled additional ground resources. This is a good sign, as it generally indicates that they are getting the fire under control and.

MENDOCINO Co., 11/01/19 — Cal Fire along with Redwood Valley Fire, Little Lake Fire, and other local departments are responding to what is being called the "Foster Fire,"a quarter acre timber fire on Foster Mountain in Redwood, with fire crews accessing the blaze via Tomki Road. A Cal Fire air response is currently under way that includes at least one tanker and one helicopter.

The fire is currently less than a 1/4 acre in size with good road access, and crews are responding.

We will continue to update.

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Ukiah, Willits, Gualala, Leggett have power — PG&E calls the “all clear,” restarts repair work https://www.mendovoice.com/2019/10/pge-calls-the-all-clear-restarts-repair-work-restoration-of-south-coast-ukiah-anderson-valley-expected-today/ https://www.mendovoice.com/2019/10/pge-calls-the-all-clear-restarts-repair-work-restoration-of-south-coast-ukiah-anderson-valley-expected-today/#comments Wed, 30 Oct 2019 18:12:00 +0000 https://www.mendovoice.com/?p=255525 Officials are expressing "cautious optimism," while noting that information from PG&E has been "inconsistent and unreliable."

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UPDATE 10 p.m. -- Here's our most recent update on the power shut-offs from Wednesday evening.

UPDATE 4:30 p.m. -- The lights just came on in Willits.

UPDATE 1:28 p.m. -- Multiple reader reports have come in telling us that the power has been returned to large parts of Ukiah, potentially all of the area. These reports have come from both city-limits Ukiah, which has its own grid, and suburbs of Ukiah on the PG&E grid.

Leggett and Piercy, which are tied into the grid through Humboldt, apparently regained power yesterday at some point.

ORIGINAL

WILLITS, 10/30/19 -- Pacific Gas & Electric sounded the "all clear" this morning, meaning repair and restoration work can re-commence on the power grid, without fear that more high winds will once again damage infrastructure or start a fire. (Scroll down or click here for what we know about when the power might come back on.)

Earlier this week Governor Gavin Newsom also announced that PG&E will be providing some kind of rebate for the outages, something that had no previously been their policy, though the scope of the rebate is unclear. With regard to some credit, PG&E has so far only commented on the Oct. 9 outage. PG&E has an outage map website, but the dates and times it shows appear to directly contradict the statements of PG&E to public officials and to the press, and may be considered unreliable.

The work that PG&E must do now is a mixture of both power restoration, the complex process by which the grid must be re-energized after being turned off to ensure stable voltage etc., and repairs which are necessary due to the fact that high winds have damaged and downed various lines.

The exact sequence in which work will proceed or power will come back on is effectively unknown to the public. Several public officials, including the county CEO and supervisors, as well as the City of Ukiah, have complained about the poor communication. The City of Ukiah has said repeated that, "Information from PG&E has been inconsistent and unreliable." That's the public official version of, "take this all with a grain of salt."

Power restoration

Here's what we know this morning, which we've complied from speaking to various public officials who in turn have had direct communication with PG&E officials: workers attempted to restore power to Gualala and the south coast last night, via a line that comes up from the Sonoma coast, but they did not succeed. They expect to have more success early today.

The City of Ukiah has said that PG&E has told them that they are making attempts to restore the high-power transmission line that follows roughly the path of SR-20 from Lake County, that provides power to Ukiah and surrounding areas. Restoration of this line is expected this afternoon, at which point Ukiah, within city limits, and areas around it should begin to see the power come back on.

Likewise, transmission lines that run along SR-128 from roughly the areas of U.S. Route 101, up from northern Sonoma to the Anderson Valley are expected to see restoration later today.

During the most recent forced outage PG&E turned off fewer areas of Humboldt County and for a shorter duration. It appears that Leggett and perhaps Laytonville get their power from the north, and so restoration of their power may also occur speedily.

But again, PG&E will not communicate about the actual functioning of their grid, and have rejected requests for information about the grid in the past. If you want to see a rough map of what the local grid looks like follow this link to our special project, the mendomaps.com.

Fort Bragg, unfortunately, appears to be powered, not through the south coast, nor through the Anderson Valley, but from Willits on transmission lines roughly parallel to SR-20. This means Fort Bragg depends on the restoration of the Willits substation, and we have no yet hear any information about when Willits will be returned to power.

At PG&E's outage map, on their website, they currently show the places without power (purple areas are part of their intentional power shut-offs, which they call "PSPS"), and if you click there is an estimated time of restoration -- but this information should, as per the City of Ukiah, be considered "inconsistent and unreliable." This website especially only provides and estimate, and it appears that that estimate is just a time 48 hours after the initiation of the outage. What's more, PG&E's own official communications both to public officials and the press have often directly contradicted this website.

Here is the press release from the City of Ukiah:

CITY OF UKIAH PSPS UPDATE: PG&E GIVES THE “WEATHER ALL CLEAR,” HOPES TO RESTORE THE POWER TO THE GREATER UKIAH VALLEY IN THE AFTERNOON OF WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30TH
 
Ukiah, CA. October 30, 2019, 8:30 am – PG&E has announced the “weather all clear” for Mendocino County.  While their typical response is that it could take up to 48 to inspect the lines and restore power, they have also indicated that they are prioritizing restoration of the transmission line feeding the greater Ukiah area in hopes that power will be restored in the afternoon of Wednesday, October 30th.

While City Staff is cautiously optimistic, information from PG&E has been inconsistent and unreliable. We will continue to pass on information as it is received, and assure residents that staff are working around the clock to keep other essential services operating while pressuring PG&E for information and expedited restoration.

The Ukiah Civic Center lobby at 300 Seminary Avenue will be open to the public for device charging between 8:00 am and 9:00 pm until power is restored.  Public restrooms, coffee and water are also available. Please note that public wifi is not available at this location due to the outage. 

In the meantime, City officials encourage residents to please drive safely.  Inoperative traffic signals caused by the power outage need to be treated as an all-way stop.

Please follow the City of Ukiah’s Facebook page for the most up-to-date info: https://www.facebook.com/cityofukiah/.  Alternatively, residents may call (707) 463-6288.  

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Kincade Fire grows by another 20,000 acres — 101 remains closed as of 10pm — PG&E likely to cut power again mid-week (updated 10:20pm) https://www.mendovoice.com/2019/10/kincade-fire-hits-30000-acres-small-vegetation-fire-in-covelo-power-out-across-mendocino-and-37-counties-101-is-open-as-of-11-am/ https://www.mendovoice.com/2019/10/kincade-fire-hits-30000-acres-small-vegetation-fire-in-covelo-power-out-across-mendocino-and-37-counties-101-is-open-as-of-11-am/#comments Sun, 27 Oct 2019 18:02:33 +0000 https://www.mendovoice.com/?p=253939 It has been a devastating and difficult 24 hours in Northern California.

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Editor's note: People around the region are reporting slowed internet and cell service. We don't know the exact cause, but to compensate we will be publishing without picture or video to use less data. Usually in emergency situations we like to show you lots of pictures, but we hope this tactic will help get news to you.

UPDATE 10/28/19 -- Here's our latest from today:

UPDATE 10:10 p.m. -- According to Cal Fire's evening update the Kincade Fire grew by more than 20,000 acres today in a sweeping push south towards Windsor, but firefighters managed to stop the fire from entering the city. The fire now stands at 54,298 acres, with 5% containment, a decrease in containment percentage due to the dramatic growth in the size of the fire. U.S. Route 101 remains closed through the fire area.

Ninety-four structures have been destroyed by the fire and 17 damaged, though nearly 80,000 structures remains threatened. And what stands between those structures and destruction are 3,441 firefighting personnel commanding a tremendous infrastructure of engines, tenders, dozers, helicopters, prop-planes, water dropping jets and even the world's only 747 supertanker. California has among the most advanced and well organized firefighting capacities in the world, and the fact that the fire has nonetheless continued to grow, nearly doubling in size, speaks to the destructive power of the winds and the dryness of the vegetation.

For the full report from Cal Fire follow this link. You can watch the evening press conference from Cal Fire here. We generally embed these reports, but in keeping with our attempt to keep our pages loading fast we're linking instead.

There had been some reports that the southbound lanes of the 101 would be opened through the fire area, with State Senator Mike McGuire tweeting out that the opening would be happening sometime tonight -- Google Maps is also showing the southbound lanes as open. However, as of about 10 p.m. tonight the California Highway Patrol was reporting that the freeway remains closed in the fire area, and that travel from Mendocino to Marin would not be possible along the 101.

It is estimated that nearly 160,000 people remain under evacuation, and a number of shelters have reached capacity or have been forced to evacuate since the fire began. For the latest shelter and evacuation information, check with the Sonoma County Emergency Preparedness and Information website or at the links listed in previous updates.

UPDATE 2:15 p.m. — A fire in Potter Valley has closed a portion of State Route 20 to the Lake County line and evacuations have begun — we're updating here. PG&E has also announced a potential power shut-off event for 32 counties beginning on Tuesday — we'll have more on that soon.

UPDATE 1:30 p.m. — Evacuation warnings have been issued for parts of northeastern Napa County, including Calistoga, indicating some movement of the Kincade Fire towards the east. An evacuation center has also been established in Napa County. The evacuation warning includes: "City of Calistoga and Napa County North of Diamond Mountain Road to Dunaweal Lane. East of the Sonoma County/Napa County Line. South of the Lake County/Napa County Line. West of Pickett Road," which is considered "Zone 21."

To view the most current Napa County Map, follow this link. It will have the most current information from Napa County. To view the most current Sonoma County Map, follow this link. If you want to receive email alerts from Cal Fire, copy this link.

An evacuation center has been set up at Napa Valley College, 2277 Napa Valley Highway, Napa Valley, CA.

Winds have been descreasing on the north coast, and the National Weather Service office in Eureka has downgraded the wind forecasts for portions of Humboldt, Trinity, and interior Mendocino counties until 5 p.m. today. Currently, there is no estimated time of power restoration for Mendocino.

Says NWS Eureka:

"Winds are decreasing across the region. Current winds gusts on ridgelines are primarily in the 35-45 mph range in SE Humboldt, S Trinity, and interior Mendocino. Because of this, we have cancelled the High Wind Warning early and replaced it with a Wind Advisory through 5 pm."

UPDATE 11:47 a.m. — The 101 has been closed yet again due to a flare up in the Kincade Fire.

Also, PG&E is now warning of another wind storm and attendant power outage mid-week. It’s unclear how extensive these will be.

UPDATE 11:30 a.m. -- The fire in Covelo has now reached six to seven acres, the aircraft were forced to leave due to high wind gusts, we'll continue to update. It is being called the Twin Fire. It is being managed by Cal Fire incident although it is near public forest lands.

The fire at the Cold Creek Compost facility burned in a compost pile, it is contained but expected to continue throwing up smoke for a while. That fire is called the "Burris IC."

The global supertanker has now arrived at the Kincade Fire, and more Cal Fire resources are on the way, although wind speeds remain higher than typical.

MENDOCINO Co., 10/27/19 — Driven by the intense winds that began picking up across the North Bay in the early hours of today, the Kincade Fire has reached 30,000 as of this morning, nearly 4,000 acres overnight, with official containment dropping slightly from 11% to 10%, as a result of the fires tremendous growth. The fire has burned additional structures but was held back from the cities of Windsor and Healdsburg, and did not jump U.S. Route 101 thanks to the heroic efforts of over 3,000 firefighters working through the night. 

In Mendocino County two small fires have started. The first in Potter Valley appears to have begun in a large compost pile and was quickly contained, though fire crews remain on the scene, and it may be smoldering. The second is more worrisome, a currently four acre blaze burning to the northeast of Covelo. The fire had a couple aircraft devoted to it, but they have since been recalled and left the fire.

And of course the power remains shut off, we’ll be discussing all these things in this article.

Here’s what the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has to say about it:

Late last night as the Kincade Fire's behavior became unpredictable and wind speeds increased, officials expanded evacuation orders and warnings to much of Sonoma County in the early morning. Over 190,000 people have had to evacuated the area in what is the largest evacuation in the county's history, and 31,175 structures are threatened, with 79 already destroyed and 14 damaged.

Here's the current map of the evacuation orders and warnings in Sonoma County created by the County of Sonoma. It also shows planned power shut-offs areas, road closures, and other useful info. Estimates of between 90,000 and 150,000 people began evacuating the area late last night as county officials expanded warnings, included an immediate "get out" for Healdsburg and Windsor as the fire encroached the edges of those locales, and a number of established shelters for evacuees either had to be relocated due to increased threat of fire, or filled up, prompting the opening of additional shelters as far south as Petaluma and Marin (full list below).

U.S. 101 was also temporarily closed between Santa Rosa and Healdsburg, but was re-opened shortly before 9 a.m. this morning, though a number of road closures remain in effect. There are 3,081 personnel fighting the fire, with additional crews on the way, included 15 strike teams from Oregon.

Here's the full morning report from Cal Fire (below), and here's our coverage of the fire's movements on Saturday. The agency held a press conference at 10 a.m. which you can see here:

Live from Mevo

Posted by CAL FIRE on Sunday, October 27, 2019

Y en español:

Live from Mevo

Posted by CAL FIRE on Sunday, October 27, 2019

As of about 8 a.m., in the Kincade Fire region, wind speeds have decreased since early Sunday morning, but scanner traffic indicates that the wind speeds may still be fast enough to make an aircraft operations on the fire difficult. With the shifting winds it also appears that the fire may be moving east towards Calistoga and St. Helena in Napa County. During the highest winds of the night, the fire was spotting potentially up to a mile ahead, causing new spot fires and concern as to whether the blaze would jump the Highway 101 or the Russian River. Cal Fire's morning report summarizes the situation as such:

“Evacuation orders have been expanded, and residents are reminded to maintain good situational awareness and heed the direction of officials. High winds and low humidity continue to create critical fire weather conditions. The North side of the fire is burning in remote, steep terrain while Southern portions of the fire have begun to impact the Southern Alexander Valley. Firefighters will continue to mitigate structure threats and find opportunities construct control lines.”

Power shut-offs

Planned power shut-offs began yesterday afternoon, as PG&E provided a number of different schedules for de-energizing the lines in different areas, including issuing a delayed schedule, which it did not seem to keep, and a number of customers reported their power was shut-off earlier than expected.

The utility has so far not provided any additional update regarding when power might be restored, although previous forecasts had put the end of the weather event at Monday, some public officials also stated they expected power restoration to begin Sunday afternoon, though it’s unclear where that would happen. On the company’s seven day weather forecasting page, the two zones in Mendocino County are currently forecasted to be on shutdown “watch” through Monday, and then considered at an “elevated risk” — which is lower than the watch — throiugh Wednesday. PG&E is anticipating another wind event that may begin Tuesday, and depending on conditions between now and then, it is unclear whether the utility will re-energize the lines in regions where more fire risk events are predicted. The company has said they expect "widespread wind damage" across their system, which may delay restoration as well.

Currently, it seems that all PG&E customers in Mendocino have lost power. There are two resource centers set up by PG&E to provide power strips, wifi, water, port-a-potties, air conditioning, and more that will be open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the power shut-offs. In Mendocino there are two such resource centers, in Ukiah on 1775 North State Street and the Potter Valley Bible Church at 10151 Main Street, Potter Valley. The C.V. Starr Center and the Fort Bragg Police Station may also be open to provide charging capabilities for nearby residents but we have not confirmed this. 

Ukiah Unified School District has announced that schools will be closed on Monday, and will be re-opened when power has been restored. Mendocino County Office of Education and local school districts will be announcing Monday closures on Facebook and on their websiteby Monday at 6:30 a.m.

Evacuation shelters: Santa Rosa Fairgrounds, 1350 Bennett Valley Rd., Santa Rosa, CA 95404. Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Bldg., 1351 Maple Ave., Santa Rosa, CA 95404. Sonoma Marin Fairgrounds, 175 Fairgrounds Rd., Petaluma, CA 94952. Petaluma Veterans Center, 1094 Petaluma Blvd., Petaluma, CA 94952. Large Animal Evacuation site: Santa Rosa Fairgrounds

PG&E October 27 weather forecast:

Sunday, October 27, 2019 

NOTE: This forecast is based on weather conditions and fuel moisture content only and does not include other criteria used to determine whether a PSPS may be necessary.

A major and potentially historical offshore wind event is underway across northern California. Widespread impacts are expected as strong winds continue through the day and overnight into tomorrow morning. Evacuation orders are in effect for parts of Sonoma County due to possible spread of the Kincade fire currently burning east of Healdsburg. Please refer to https://socoemergency.org/home/emergency/evacuation-orders/ for more information. Unfortunately, this system is right on the heels of a recent wind event and fuels are critically dry and receptive for fire. This wind event will not only be the strongest of the year so far, it will also likely be stronger than the October 2017 northern California fire event and has the potential and energy to be the strongest in years. Northern Operations Predictive services is projecting ”an unusually strong 99th percentile” event, and the National Weather Service Bay Area has stated ”this will be a long duration and potentially extreme/historic event across the North Bay”. PG&E Meteorology’s analyses of forecasted pressure gradients from the ECMWF weather model suggest a near 1 in 15 year return period event. Red Flag Warnings as well as Wind Warnings remain in effect for most areas north of a Santa Cruz to Yosemite line through tomorrow morning. In addition to the Diablo winds across the north, strong Santa Ana winds are expected to develop in southern California including the Tehachapis and southern Kern County this evening and continue into tomorrow. Red Flag Warnings have also been issued for most of southern California. Please refer to weather.gov, https://gacc.nifc.gov/oncc/, or https://gacc.nifc.gov/oscc/ for the latest updates from federal forecast agencies. As a result of the critical fire weather conditions, all but Zone 6 is in a PSPS Warning today and all Zones are either in a PSPS Warning or elevated PSPS status for tomorrow. Yet another offshore wind event is possible Tuesday into Wednesday across northern California and Wednesday into Thursday across southern California. Therefore, all but zones 6 and 7 are in Elevated PSPS status for that time frame. The PG&E Emergency Operations Center remains activated to monitor and prepare for the event. 

Details: Northerly winds increased dramatically overnight and are currently gusting to 30-45 mph in and around the greater Bay Area as well as the Central Valley and northern Sierra foothills, with peak gusts in excess of 100 mph in the highest elevations. Winds will peak during the morning and afternoon hours, but remain breezy to gusty overnight and into tomorrow morning. Relative humidity has also plummeted into the 10-20% range and will continue to lower through the day with no significant recovery expected until tomorrow. This Diablo wind event will encompass most of the PG&E territory generally north of a Santa Cruz to Yosemite line and widespread wind damage is anticipated. Santa Ana winds are also expected to develop across southern CA including the Tehachapis and into southern San Joaquin Valley later today into tomorrow, with possible gusts to 50-60+ mph. Yet another offshore wind event is anticipated Tuesday into Wednesday across northern California and Wednesday into Thursday across southern California including southern Kern County. Although not as strong as the current event, wind gusts in the 40-50 mph range are possible across the northern areas and conditions continue to be monitored closely. Dead fuel moistures are near historical low values and live fuel moisture remains at or below critical values, making them highly susceptible to ignition and explosive fire spread.     

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Outages hit Potter Valley –PG&E says 6476 customers in Mendocino Co. will lose power — and we have a list of which schools will close — red flag warning declared across NorCal (updated 8:47 p.m.) https://www.mendovoice.com/2019/10/as-vast-power-outages-loom-tonight-uncertainty-remains/ https://www.mendovoice.com/2019/10/as-vast-power-outages-loom-tonight-uncertainty-remains/#comments Tue, 08 Oct 2019 17:39:58 +0000 https://www.mendovoice.com/?p=243503 Says County: "Please note that although the incorporated City of Ukiah, and the areas in and around Willits and Fort Bragg are not expected to be de-energized at this time, residents are still strongly encouraged to continue to prepare for an outage."

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Editor's note: This story is developing quickly and being constantly updated. Please come back for more information later, and scroll down to see the original reporting.

8:46 p.m. -- Here is the latest from the County of Mendocino:

Ukiah, California: October 8, 2019 
Potential PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff Update 2 
The County of Mendocino has been continually monitoring the scope of the upcoming Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) event scheduled for our area. 
At this time, effected [sic] areas have been indentified as being: 
Redwood Valley, Potter Valley, Hopland, portions of the unincorporated areas of the Ukiah Valley, 62 PG&E service points in the Willits area (unknown locations at this time), Leggett, Piercy, Whitethorn and Whale Gulch. 

It is anticipated that approximately 88% of PG&E customers in these areas will begin losing power at midnight tonight (10/08/2019). 
At this time the, unaffected areas have been indentified [sic] as being: 
City of Ukiah, City of Fort Bragg, City of Point Arena, entire unincorporated Mendocino County coastal communities. 

The Mendocino County Office of Emergency Services is currently aware of sporadic power outages in Potter Valley, but according to PG&E representatives, the power outages are not connected to the PSPS and attempts to restore services are underway. 

Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) Resources: PG&E Community Resource Center (CRC) – 1775 N State St, Ukiah CA 95482 (anticipated to open at 8:00 am on 10/9) PSPS Service Impact Map – https://www.pge.com/en_US/safety/emergency-preparedness/natural-disaster/wildfires/psps-service- impact-map.page PG&E Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pacificgasandelectric/ PG&E Twitter – https://twitter.com/PGE4Me PG&E - 1-800-743-5009 PSPS Information and Local Resources – https://www.mendocinocounty.org/community/public-safety- power-shutoff Mendocino County Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/mendocinocounty Mendocino County Twitter – @countymendocino Mendocino County Instagram – @countyofmendocino Mendocino County Sheriff Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MendocinoSheriff City of Ukiah PSPS Outage/Electrical Outage Lines – 463-6288/463-6228 City of Ukiah Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/cityofukiah 
For more information, please contact the Executive Office at 707-463-4441. 

501 Low Gap Rd, Rm 1010 Office: 707-463-4441 Ukiah, CA 95482-3734 Fax: 707-463-5649

County of Mendocino

UPDATE 8:39 p.m. — Report are coming out of Potter Valley that power shut-offs have begun there, affecting mostly the western and northern sides of the valley. However, the County of Mendocino has issued a press release saying that those outages are somehow unrelated to the larger planned outage. We don't know what this means.

Has the power gone off where you are? If so, please tell us in the comments or on Facebook.

In Ukiah, although there is currently no plan for shut-offs within the municipal grid, there are long lines and increasingly empty shelves at local stores and gas stations. The City of Willits also is not scheduled to have the power go out, though some customers outside city limits, with Willits addresses, might lose power.

UPDATE 4:20 p.m. -- PG&E spokesperson Deanna Contreras just informed us that the following locations are now on the list for a power outage starting shortly after midnight tonight. But first she assured us that Fort Bragg and Willits will not experience planned outages. As the City of Ukiah pointed out, the extreme weather could cause unplanned outages and everyone should be prepared. Others have noted that depending on what areas are turned off, areas that still nominally have power could experience rolling blackouts due to strain on the grid.

According to Contreras the towns in our area that will be shut off are: Potter Valley, Redwood Valley, Calpella, Boonville, Talmage, Hopland, Cloverdale, Garberville, Leggett, Piercy, Westport, Calpella, and areas immediately adjacent to Ukiah (often with a Ukiah mailing address) which are not on the Ukiah municipal grid.

She stated that 6476 customers will have their power intentionally shut-off, and that they should already have been individually contacted to be given warning.

She added that the outage will not happen all at once, but will travel down the state, from north to south, in advance of the weather.

UPDATE 4:00 p.m. -- The City of Ukiah has announced that they do not expect to be affected by the planned power shut-off that PG&E is conduction tonight. The City runs its own municipal grid, but does receive power from PG&E via transmission lines. At this time it does not appear that those lines will have to be de-energized. However, they caution that the extreme weather event could cause unplanned outages nonetheless, and that everyone should be prepared. (Read the full statement here)

Also, we spoke the Mendocino County Superintendent of Schools, Michelle Hutchins, who gave us a list of how the various school districts in the county will be dealing with the outage. She stressed that the information she gave is not the final word and that each case parents should take their local school district's announcements as the authority. However, her office has polled the various districts and here is a list:

  • Anderson Valley Schools will close if the power is off
  • Point Arena and Point Arena Joint Union will close if the power is off
  • Fort Bragg schools will close if the power is off
  • Laytonville will try to remain open even if the power is off
  • Leggett Valley will close if the power is off
  • Manchester Unified School District will close if the power is off
  • Mendocino Unified School District will close if the power is off
  • Potter Valley Community Unified will be open for day one of the outage and make a decision
  • Round Valley schools will close if the power is off
  • Ukiah Unified School District will monitor the situation and make a call when it's clear if the power will go ff
  • Willits Unified School District will close if the power is off

The Mendocino County Office of Education operates fours schools

  • The Talmage preschool will close if the power is off
  • Orr Creek School, Mendocino Community School and Early Start will take their cue from Ukiah High School, so if Ukiah High is open so will they be.

And, though this is probably obviously, the National Weather Service office in Eureka declared a red flag warning in Eureka a few hours ago. The best place to see a detailed map of that is at this link. Parts of Humboldt are getting a double whammy of a red flag warning and a frost warning. Here is a screenshot of that map:

Cal Fire is staffing up across the state and is predicting that this could be the strongest offshore wind event of the season. These warm, fast, dry winds blowing from the east and north have historically resulted in some of the worst fires in California.

Sacramento – CAL FIRE firefighters are staffing up and preparing for the forecasted extreme fire weather across California. The National Weather Service has issued red flag warnings and fire weather watches for areas of northern, central and southern California. This will likely be the strongest offshore wind event so far this season.

“With some of the most destructive and deadliest fires occurring October through December, we need Californians to not be complacent. Wind driven fires move fast, and residents need to be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice in the event of a wildfire,” said Chief Thom Porter, CAL FIRE director. “We have increased our staffing, but need the public to remain vigilant. It is important to follow evacuation orders and leave early as fires move very fast under these conditions."

Cal Fire

UPDATE 2:15 p.m. -- We're giving you the information as quickly as it's coming in, so to all you loyal supportive readers, please bear with us. Supervisor Ted Williams has posted on Facebook with more information, some of it slightly different than what the county put out, but more details. The bottom line is that PG&E has not been communicating clearly with public officials, and it's unclear whether PG&E knows exactly what they're going to do, or if they are also improvising as weather forecasts shift.

The gist of what Williams says is broadly similar to the County's press release, though he notes that the situation in Willits proper remains very muddy, and Willits may lose power. The Little Lake Valley's power is fed by two transmission lines, one following roughly the route of U.S. Route 101 and the other Tomki Rd., up to Pine Mountain. This means that different sections of Willits get their power from different transmission lines. The eastern line passing through Redwood Valley will almost certainly be de-energized.

Fore all the details keep scrolling down.

Here's what Williams has to say:

Ted’s understanding of PG&E PSPS status: We are continuing to head towards a power safety shutoff. The shut offs will start from the north and work south as the wind event comes on land from the north and moves south through the state. There are now three planned phases. Kern county was added as phase III. Notices went out to many Mendocino operational units. We’ll go dark in the first phase, which starts at midnight.

The county is ready to open up call center at 5am. 707 467 6428. The County’s Emergency Communication Center will open at 5am. CEO’s office and Sheriff are coordinating public information with cities. The outages are expected to impact 790k people with additional of Kern. PG&E is updating mapping. They are aware their website is broken. They’re working to bring it back online. If they cannot, they’ll send a rep to each operational area (not clear on how this will help with outreach). PG&E anticipates 500k people in the first phase. Additional helicopters have been brought in to examine infrastructure once the wind event has passed. This will help reduce time before reenergizing lines.

Transmission lines to the City of Ukiah are not currently included in the outage. Fort Bragg and Willits have been receiving notices of pending outage. The County is working to clarify. Point Arena and Gualala are believed to not be included in outage. There will be instability in the system as PG&E manages shutoff (everyone should prepare). Partial transmission could cause rolling outages through management. Wind damage to infrastructure should be reported to PG&E as always. Do not approach or drive over downed lines.

The City of Willits is still concerned about ambiguity in whether the city will be shut off -- they don't yet know for certain. Willits suggest monitoring the city website for updates. The County believes Willits will not be included. City of Fort Bragg does not believe the city will be included, but is awaiting a press release from PG&E for confirmation.

City of Point Arena is suffering similar confusing, because PG&E has said “yes” and “no”. The County believes Point Arena will not be included. The current map does not show Anderson Valley or Yorkville included in outage. Hopland is sending a large strike team of engines to Lake County. CalFire is staffing up additional engines. Schools without electricity will close. Those waking up with electricity should assume school is closed. City of Ukiah will have uninterrupted water. Ukiah Sanitation District will also run uninterrupted. Phase I is expected to go dark between midnight and Wednesday morning. We anticipate restore time after the wind event to be 12-24 hours best case, 5 days worst case.
The County's executive office is working on clarification of unincorporated towns.

Ted Williams, District 5

UPDATE 1:40 p.m. -- Well news develops quickly sometimes, and just as this author updated this article, another press release came into his inbox, this one from the County of Mendocino with a few more details (the MCSO has sent out the same press release).

The County is saying that, "Please note that although the incorporated City of Ukiah, and the areas in and around Willits and Fort Bragg are not expected to be de-energized at this time, residents are still strongly encouraged to continue to prepare for an outage." The planned outage is expected to begin just after midnight tonight, and continue until noon Thursday. It might then be several days after that before power is full restored.

PG&E will be setting up a "community resource center" in Ukiah.

Here is the full press release with maps below that:

Ukiah, California: October 8, 2019 
Potential PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff Updates 
The County of Mendocino has been continually monitoring the scope of the upcoming Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) event scheduled for our area. At this time, effected areas are outlined in the attached map. Please note that although the incorporated City of Ukiah, and the areas in and around Willits and Fort Bragg are not expected to be de-energized at this time, residents are still strongly encouraged to continue to prepare for an outage. To determine if your specific address is within the effected area, please refer to the PG&E Service Impact Map located on the website listed below. This information continues to evolve and could change prior to the scheduled event. 
The potential power shut off will begin on Wednesday, October 9 at 12:00 am , through Thursday, October 10 at 12:00 pm. Residents should be aware that at the conclusion of the shut-off, it could take several days for power lines to be re-energized. 

PG&E will be opening a Community Resource Center (CRC) at 1775 N. State St in Ukiah on Wednesday, October 9. Hours of operation will be from 8:00 am through 6:00 pm. An informational flyer will be attached to this release. 

Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) Resources: PG&E Community Resource Center (CRC) – 1775 N State St, Ukiah CA 95482 (anticipated to open at 8:00 am on 10/9) PSPS Service Impact Map – https://www.pge.com/en_US/safety/emergency-preparedness/natural-disaster/wildfires/psps-service- impact-map.page PG&E Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pacificgasandelectric/ PG&E Twitter – https://twitter.com/PGE4Me PG&E - 1-800-743-5009 PSPS Information and Local Resources – https://www.mendocinocounty.org/community/public- safety-power-shutoff Mendocino County Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/mendocinocounty Mendocino County Twitter – @countymendocino Mendocino County Instagram – @countyofmendocino Mendocino County Sheriff Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MendocinoSheriff City of Ukiah PSPS Outage/Electrical Outage Lines – 463-6288/463-6228 City of Ukiah Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/cityofukiah

County of Mendocino County

Also yesterday Debbie Bryant, chair of the IHSS Advisory Committee for Mendoicnou County made this statement:

IHSS Provider‘s
Important Announcement

This is Debbie Bryant, Chair of the IHSS Advisory Committee for Mendocino County.

There is a high potential that the electricity will be shut off for Mendocino County starting Wednesday morning. Please make sure that you and your clients have enough food, etc., to last 5 to 7 days. Also make sure of the toiletries, medications or any other needs to get all of you through those days the electricity may be shut off.

UPDATE 1:30 p.m. -- Pacific Gas & Electric issued a press released just minutes ago, explaining that the number of counties affected by the scheduled planned outage has expanded to 34, and will now include Humboldt, Trinity, Marin and Kern. They however have not offered additional insight into the specific areas of Mendocino County that will be affected.

According to their website (which you can see here), which was updated at 1 p.m., 6000 remains the number of customers that will be affected by the outage in Mendocino, with the important caveat that all of Ukiah is one customer. This number has not changed since it was first announced but the number of towns affected has increased, and the inclusion of Humboldt and Trinity counties seems to indicate that they perceive the risk to be even higher. The towns listed are: Ukiah, Potter Valley, Hopland, Redwood Valley, Willits, Boonville, Calpella, Talmage, Fort Bragg.

We discussed in the earlier portion of this article why the inclusion of Willits, Fort Bragg, and Boonville might be an exaggeration. Basically, it might just be outlying areas near there with mailing addresses listed in those towns that are affected. But we don't actually know. It is unclear if PG&E has simply not yet made a decision, or if they are not communicating clearly.

Multiple public officials have complained both in public and in private about the lack of clear information, and the fact that they continue to hear information that appears to contradict earlier information. Said Mendocino County Supervisor Ted Williams in a Facebook post:

PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff update coming this afternoon. Apparently previous releases contained erroneous data (including cities -- how do you get that wrong)? Fort Bragg, Boonville, Talmage and Willits were previously included in error. The PSPS website isn't handling load. No confidence.

Ted Williams

A fire official, explained, "You're only as good as the information that you're given...and right now everyone is in a holding pattern."

ORIGINAL
MENDOCINO Co., 10/8/19 -- By now everyone remotely aware of the news in Northern California knows that Pacific Gas & Electric plans to shut off the lights -- probably tonight, and in vast areas of NorCal, affecting potentially millions of people. To our knowledge an intentional power outage of this size, which PG&E calls "public safety power shut-offs," has not been preformed in California since the advent of the modern power-grid.

As of time of publication it still remains unclear exactly what areas are supposed to be blackouted tonight, and PG&E's online map (which you can see here) is not substantially changed from what it was yesterday. Late last night PG&E provided a list of affected towns, both via press release and on their website (read our last article here), which included Willits, Boonville, and Fort Bragg. Undersheriff Kendall explained today that the inclusion of those towns is likely due to the fact that rural, outlying areas which nonetheless have those towns in their mailing address, might be affected. Said Kendall, "I am doubting that the entire towns of Willits, [Boonville], and Fort Bragg will be included."

PG&E still maintains that it will be shutting off power to roughly 6000 customers in Mendocino County, with the important caveat that the whole of Ukiah is considered one customer, due to its having an independent municipal power-gird, that is fed by PG&E transmission lines. An updated is expected around noon today.

The blackouts are happening because of an extreme fire weather event, which is predicted to begin tonight, bringing extremely fast gusting winds, perhaps up to 60 mph in the North Bay and sections of the North Coast, and low relative humidity, drying out vegetation. These conditions are the kind that set of the disastrous Redwood Fire exactly two years ago tonight, making today a grim anniversary on which to hold this massive blackout.

And the real question facing Northern California tonight is how strong and dry these winds will be. PG&E is preemptively shutting the power off in many places, but winds could destroy power lines in other areas, or a fire could interrupt power as well, as happened both two years ago, and one year ago during the Ranch Fire. With all the preparation underway mother nature remains the deciding factor how tonight will unfold, and neither PG&E nor local governments can give absolute assurances about what will happen.

Because of course, while power lines caused many of the fires of the last two years, fires can start from many different sources, and Kendall urged everyone to be cautious during this wind event, noting that it is hunting season up north and a camp stove could send off a spark, or for that matter a car could, as is often the case along the 101 corridor.

Public officials have done much to prepare for the outage; Adventist Health has announced that hospitals in Ukiah and Willits both have back up generators, as do many other critical institutions, such as various fire departments. And in a brief interview Mendocino Undersheriff Matt Kendall explained that the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office will be ramping up staffing of deputies and dispatchers tonight. He emphasized that deputies will be out in neighborhoods, saying "We've ramped up patrols because everybody understands that if communications fail we want to have deputy sheriffs out there answering questions."

Kendall added, "One of the biggest concerns of Sheriff Allman, basically...he says, this is almost the exact same date as the Oct. 2017 fires, and so when the power goes out there are going to probably a lot of people with a lot of, for lack of a better word, fire PTSD."

For the most detailed maps of the weather event check out this interactive maps from the National Weather Service (NWS). Here is our region. As you can see, the Bay Area from the Sonoma County line all the way down to around Gilroy is under a red flag warning. In contrast areas of the North Coast, including Mendo, and inland areas of Lake County and the Sacramento Valley remain under a less severe "fire weather watch," at this time:

The arrow points to Ukiah which is somewhat obscured by the map overlay.

What's more Humboldt County officials have also warned that the outage might affect their area as well:

Here is a revised wind forecast for Northern California from NWS Sacramento. Bear in mind that PG&E has maintained all long that power shut-offs may not correspond to areas of truly critical fire weather. If high transmission lines pass through areas with a high fire risk, they may have to be de energized, leaving communities downstream, but not in a windy area, also without power:

Yet another red flag warning in the Bay:

You can also listen to an interview conducted by our colleagues at KZYX, with Sheriff Tom Allman here: https://www.kzyx.org/post/sheriff-tom-allman-provides-update-public-safety-power-shutoff-psps-1072019-300-pm?fbclid=IwAR1w8pT5AHGzcEAxGVqWStN34EBqxEYmPJjtGaEOHvesaMcG6gUrztMghdE#stream/0

Here is a statement made by Adventist Health concerning hospitals in Ukiah and Willits:

PG&E has announced a potential power safety shutoff starting very early on Wednesday, October 9th.
Rest assured, our team is ready and we are in the process of implementing our procedures that we have been putting in place all summer.
In the event that PG&E actually DOES shut the power off, the hospital has backup power generators ready to go and we will continue to care for our community.
Our Emergency Department, Mother and Baby Unit, Medical Surgical and Intensive Care teams will continue to meet the needs of all who are in need of inpatient and immediate care. However, elective surgeries (e.g., knee replacement, etc) will be postponed and our clinic and physician offices will be closed in the event of a power shutoff. If the power is off, the closed clinics include medical offices located on Hospital Drive and our clinics on South Dora Street including our Outpatient Rehab (Speech and Physical Therapy) and on 1050 North State Street.
If we have to reschedule your clinic appointment or surgical procedure, our team will reach out to you and let you know.
We are working closely with our community partners and will continue monitoring all information from PG&E as well as our local emergency response team and will continue to update you as we know more. This situation is evolving and things can change rapidly.
At this time, make sure to prepare yourself and your household in the event of a power shutoff. Gas up your vehicles, have cash on hand, have adequate water and non-perishable foods, make sure prescriptions are filled, and make sure you have a plan for backup power for medical devices such as ventilators, etc.
We will update you as we know more. Please help us share this widely.

Adventist Health

Here is yesterday's reporting:

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New details revealed in Ukiah shooting https://www.mendovoice.com/2019/10/new-details-revealed-in-ukiah-shooting/ https://www.mendovoice.com/2019/10/new-details-revealed-in-ukiah-shooting/#respond Sun, 06 Oct 2019 02:04:30 +0000 https://www.mendovoice.com/?p=241039 It appears that the alleged shooter is 16, and his name and other details are being held to protect the privacy of a minor.

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MENDOCINO Co., 10/5/19 -- The Mendocino County District Attorney's Office has revealed a couple new details in the shooting that occurred in Ukiah last week. (Here is the link to our previous reporting)

The shooting occurred in the 1200 block of South State Street, right in front of the strip mall that contains the Nifty Thrifty and Sunny's Donuts. The victim, a 19 year old man, was walking north up the street when a white Mercedes holding two people, also traveling north, allegedly did a u-turn, and fired multiple shots and hit victim in the hip. The victim was released from the hospital last week, though we do not have further details of his condition.

The D.A. has charged Ishmael T. Nash, 21 of Ukiah, with the felony of permitting another to discharge a firearm, and a second felony of being an accessory to a crime. He was booked into Mendocino County Jail. The other alleged occupant of the car was a 16 year old male, and being a juvenile his name and specific charges are being withheld -- however it is known that he was booked into juvenile detention. No attempted murder charge has been filed in court.

The Ukiah Police Department put out a press release this last week, in which the describe the events of the shooting and investigation, and state that a attempted murder charge had been filed. However, police agencies are not actually responsible for the final charges that are brought to court, in the American justice system that decision is made by a district attorney (or similar official) based on evidence.

So while the press release from the UPD states that the charge was a attempted murder, a spokesman for the D.A., Mike Geniella, explained that no attempted murder charge has been filed.

PRESS RELEASE - UPD CASE#19-2661
DATE:  09/30/19
TIME:  12:43 PM
LOCATION:  1200 S. State St.
Crime: 664/187(a) PC/Attempted Murder-Felony, 182(a)(1) PC/Conspiracy-Felony, 32 PC/Accessory-Felony
Suspect:  Nash, Ishmael Tivo 21-year-old Hispanic male, Ukiah

16-year-old Hispanic male juvenile, Ukiah       

On 09/30/19, at approx. 1243 hours, UPD units responded to the 1200 block of S. State St. for a report of shots being fired.  Upon arrival, UPD units located a 19-year-old male victim, who had sustained a gunshot wound.  The victim was flown to a medical facility outside of Mendocino County and has since been discharged from care. 
 
UPD Detectives responded to the scene and began interviewing witnesses and reviewing surveillance footage of surrounding businesses.  Additionally, evidence of multiple shots being fired were collected at the scene. UPD Detectives were quickly able to identify a suspect vehicle and disseminated the information to surrounding law enforcement agencies.  A short time later, a deputy with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office located the vehicle in the 1200 block of S. State St.
 
UPD Patrol units and Detectives responded to the area and continued their investigation.  The vehicle was determined to be the involved vehicle and the suspect(s) were determined to be in an apartment close by.  Due to the dangerous nature of the incident, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s SWAT Team was called and responded to the scene.  Ultimately the two male suspects exited the apartment and surrendered to Law Enforcement, without incident. 
 
A search warrant for the vehicle and apartment was obtained and executed.  Evidence connecting the vehicle and the suspects to the crime was recovered, including a semi-automatic handgun that was believed to be used in the shooting.  Both suspects were interviewed by UPD Detectives and statements were obtained confirming their involvement in the crime. 
 
Ishmael Nash was booked into the Mendocino County Jail for 182(a)(1) PC and 32 PC.  The 16-year-old juvenile was booked into the Mendocino County Juvenile Hall for 664/187(a) PC and 182(a)(1) PC.
 
Anyone with additional information is urged to contact the Ukiah Police Dept. at 707-463-6262.

UPD
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District 3 Supervisor Haschak will hold town hall Oct. 16 https://www.mendovoice.com/2019/10/district-3-supervisor-haschak-will-hold-town-hall-oct-16/ https://www.mendovoice.com/2019/10/district-3-supervisor-haschak-will-hold-town-hall-oct-16/#respond Thu, 03 Oct 2019 20:26:42 +0000 https://www.mendovoice.com/?p=240986 The event will be held at Willits City Hall.

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WILLITS, 10/3/19 -- District 3 Supervisor John Haschak will be holding a town hall style meeting in Willits on Oct. 16 at 5:30 p.m.

Here is the press release from Haschak's office, with all the details:

John Haschak will be hosting his second in a yearly series of Willits Town Hall Meetings on Wednesday evening, October 16th at 5:30 at Willits City Hall.

This is the perfect time to bring your concerns and issues to someone who actually listens and is informed enough to, perhaps, do something about them!

This event, will be on KLLG radio (97.9FM) and the video can be viewed both on Willits Channel 3 TV and on You Tube. Willits Community Television. Please allow a few days for editing.

This event is sponsored bt the City of Willits and the Willits Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW).

All are welcome at the Wednesday evening, October 16th, Willits Town Hall Meeting to talk with Third District Supervisor, John Haschak at the Willits City Hall.

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Traffic fatality at Sherwood Rd. in Brooktrails https://www.mendovoice.com/2019/09/traffic-fatality-at-sherwood-rd-in-brooktrails/ https://www.mendovoice.com/2019/09/traffic-fatality-at-sherwood-rd-in-brooktrails/#comments Wed, 25 Sep 2019 05:17:09 +0000 https://www.mendovoice.com/?p=236015 It appears to be a single vehicle crash.

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WILLITS, 9/24/19 -- A single car has gone off the side of the road on Sherwood Road in Brooktrails, killing the occupant of the vehicle. The accident occurred 24000 block of Sherwood Rd. or in the steep climb up to Brooktrails from Willits. Traffic will likely be impeded for some time while authorities deal with the fatality and clear the scene. It appears that the vehicle was only carrying one person.

No word on the name of the person, and the deceased's identity will most likely not be released until next of kin is notified. The vehicle was identified as a Toyota Tundra, possibly grey.

Several people on the police scanner have confirmed an "1144," code for a fatality, and the California Highway Patrol incident page, currently reads "fatality." The dispatcher confirmed that the "coroner's case" was called at 10:04 p.m.

Here is a screenshot of the CHP page:

We'll continue to update.

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Fire weather watch in effect for parts of Lake & Sonoma counties, starting Monday evening (updated 9:20 p.m.) https://www.mendovoice.com/2019/09/fire-weather-watch-in-effect-for-parts-of-lake-sonoma-counties-starting-monday-evening/ https://www.mendovoice.com/2019/09/fire-weather-watch-in-effect-for-parts-of-lake-sonoma-counties-starting-monday-evening/#respond Sun, 22 Sep 2019 08:21:08 +0000 https://www.mendovoice.com/?p=234218 The watch is expected to last through Wednesday -- expect high temperatures and winds.

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UPDATE 9:22 p.m. -- The fire weather watch has been upgraded to a red flag warning. Here are the details:

ORIGINAL
MENDOCINO CO., 9/22/19 — A "fire weather watch" has been issued for portions of the Central Valley and Sierra Foothills, as well as parts of Lake and Sonoma counties. The exact extent of the warning is unclear, and anyhow somewhat inexact, and similar weather will also likely be present in the eastern stretches of Mendocino County. The watch will begin Monday evening and continue through Wednesday.

The the watch has not risen to the level of a formal "red flag warning," nor has Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) stated, so far, that they will be definitely be cutting power to anywhere in the region. However, they have warned that they might cut power to a swath of customers in the Sierra Foothills region, mostly east of State Route 99. They have not issued a "watch" for Mendocino County.

Though temperatures are expected to temper today, they will again rise substantially Tuesday and Wednesday, and in combination with an expected northerly, low humidity, wind, this means that conditions will be ripe for a fire to catch and spread.

For more details on exactly what PG&E is planning you can see the map of affected areas at this link, and watch to see if the potential shut off area changes.

Part of the reason for the in-exactitude in the report that you are currently reading, is that the National Weather Service (NWS) offices in Sacramento and San Francisco have put out different maps of the weather watch, while the office in Eureka, which nominally covers Mendocino County, has not put out any such map. Thus the Sacramento map shows a portion of Lake, but none of Sonoma or Mendocino as part of the watch; while the map from S.F. shows the northern portion of Sonoma, right up to the county line with Mendocino, covered by the watch.

PG&E has a map (see the map at this link) of their coverage area broken down by fire threat zones, along with a chart showing the level of shut off urgency in these zones. According to that chart, most of Mendocino County will have an "elevated" shut-off potential, which is one step below a "watch." A formal "warning" is the highest level on their chart. This is somewhat confusing because the NWS appears to be using a slightly different nomenclature.

We will try to clarify this situation on Monday morning, when then various offices will likely further refine and revise their forecasts, but for now it seems advisable to be prepared for some risky weather throughout the region.

And if you were wondering what to do in such cases, and what it all means, the NWS made a very nice graphic with some info:

Here is the tweet concerning the watch from Sacramento:

Here is NWS Bay Area:

Here is the forecast for upcoming temperatures, with Ukiah duly noted:

And here is a word about the wind:

And for those of you who've made it all the way to the bottom of this thumbnail article, here's a bonus -- there's a good chance of some rain showers later on in the week:

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How much water does cannabis actually use? UC Berkeley is weighing in, watch their presentation at the UC Hopland Extension https://www.mendovoice.com/2019/09/how-much-water-does-cannabis-actually-use-uc-berkeley-is-weighing-in-watch-their-presentation-at-the-uc-hopland-extension/ https://www.mendovoice.com/2019/09/how-much-water-does-cannabis-actually-use-uc-berkeley-is-weighing-in-watch-their-presentation-at-the-uc-hopland-extension/#respond Fri, 13 Sep 2019 16:06:36 +0000 https://www.mendovoice.com/?p=229434 UC Berkeley is making a presentation of research on cannabis cultivators' experience with new regulations, water usage, and other aspects of the cannabis industry.

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MENDOCINO Co., 9/13/19 -- The University of California, Hopland Research and Extension Center will be hosting a presentation from UC Berkeley's Cannabis Research Center this Sunday, Sept. 15 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Researchers will present their findings from a survey assessing cannabis cultivators' experience with regulations, as well as water usage and other matters. It's an opportunity to see what is the current state of academic research into this important part of the Mendocino economy -- and often these academic findings go on to be important in the formulation of governmental policies.

Concerning water, the researchers asked: "How much water does the average cultivator use? Where does the water come from? What farmers are successful at observing the forbearance period?"

Here are all the details:

Cannabis Cultivation Research Report Back

Join us on Sept 15th at 2pm -4pm at Hopland Research and Extension Center to hear from UC Berkeley's Cannabis Research Center researchers on a recent survey of cannabis cultivators and research on water use in cannabis production.

Based on hundreds of responses throughout California, the survey assessed cultivators' experiences with and perspectives on regulations. What encourages or discourages cultivators participation in governmental regulatory systems?

How do regulations affect farming and environmental practices?

Also, hear about what UC researchers have learned about water use for cannabis production. Using three seasons of water use data from the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, researchers asked:

How much water does the average cultivator use? Where does the water come from? What farmers are successful at observing the forbearance period?

Come learn and discuss! This is a FREE event, but online registration is encouraged at: http://bit.ly/UCBCannabisResearch  

PRESENTERS:

Michael Polson , Anthropologist and Postdoctoral Researcher, UC Berkeley

Hekia Bodwitch , Political Ecologist and Visting Scholar, UC Berkeley

Van Butsic , Asst. Cooperative Extension Specialist, Co-director Cannabis Research Center at UC - Berkeley

Ted Grantham , Asst. Cooperative Extension Specialist, Co-director Cannabis Research Center at UC - Berkeley

For more information on the researchers and work of UC Berkeley's Cannabis Research Center visit crc.berkeley.edu .

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