Archives for September 2015

New Damage Assessment Numbers Valley Fire

New damage assessment numbers for the Valley Fire were released on Friday…

Approximately 1,958 structures have been destroyed, including 1,280 homes, 27 multi-family structures, 66 commercial properties, and 585 other minor structures such as outbuildings and sheds. In addition, Cal Fire said 93 structures have been damaged including 41 homes, seven commercial properties and 45 other minor structures. The number of confirmed fatalities remains at four. The Valley Fire is ranks at third among California’s most damaging fires, behind the Oakland Hills fire of 1991 and the Cedar fire of 2003.

Cal Fire Battalion Chief Mike Smith said the investigation into the fire’s cause is continuing. He said Cal Fire investigators began working on determining what sparked the fire early in the incident nearly two weeks ago. Smith says it could take months to find the exact cause of the Valley Fire.

Disaster CalFresh Enrollment Period Starts Tomorrow

One of many programs and services available to fire survivors in Lake County is Disaster CalFresh. A seven day enrollment period begins tomorrow, and DSS will offer extended hours, including weekend hours, to help individuals and families access the program. Disaster CalFresh is assistance to meet the temporary nutritional needs of disaster victims following a natural disaster.

Apply for Disaster Cal Fresh Sept. 29 through Oct. 5, including Saturday, Oct. 3, and Sunday, Oct. 4, at two locations:

Lake County Department of Social Services
15975 Anderson Ranch Parkway, Lower Lake
(707) 995-4200
Hours: 9 a.m.7p.m.

Local Assistance Center (LAC)
Middletown Senior Center
15975 Washington St., Middletown
(707) 987-3113
Hours: 9 a.m.7p.m.

Schools and More Reopen in Middletown Today

Classes at Middletown Unified School District’s schools are back in session today. All of the primary school sites were spared damage from the Valley Fire. Since, Cobb Elementary School did sustain some damage, it will operate out of portables on the back side of the middle school on the Middletown Unified campus on Big Canyon Road.

The Middletown Library is now open with limited service in the wake of the Valley Fire. The library is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m.,and Saturdays. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The library is closed Sundays and Mondays. Full library services will be restored as soon as possible.

After closing temporarily because of the Valley Fire, Twin Pine Casino in Middletown is reopening today. The Hotel remains closed to the public as rooms are being used for fire survivors and their families. The Twin Pine Event Center, adjacent to the Twin Pine Casino and Hotel, continues to act as a Red Cross Evacuation Shelter for the evacuees of the Valley Fire with a capacity to help up to 250 fire survivors and their families.

Toxic Algae Found in Eel River

Toxic algae has been found in the Eel River in Mendocino County. At least One dog has reportedly died after swimming in the river and ingesting cyanobacteria. It happened in a section of the Eel River located in the eastern part of Mendocino County. The Daily Journal is reporting, County officials are advising Parents of young children and dog owners to avoid the Eel River after Toxic Blue Green Algae has recently been discovered. If animals or humans have contact with algae toxins, they can experience irritation at their eyes, nose, mouth or skin, have gastro-intestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and liver inflammation, and have neurological symptoms such as muscle tremors, seizures and difficulty breathing. )))

Rare Eclipse this weekend

There will be an extra special show in the night sky this weekend when a rare supermoon lunar eclipse will occur for the first time since 1982. The cosmic event will take place Sunday night when two periodic events – supermoons and lunar eclipses – will happen at the same time, making for a rare coincidence. The partial lunar eclipse will be visible to most people in the Americas, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, according to The total lunar eclipse begins at 7:11 p.m. PDT. The next supermoon lunar eclipse won’t come around until 2033.

Job fair at Kelseyville high school

A job fair is being held Wednesday September 30th at the Kelseyville high school from 2:30 to 5:30 pm. The event is sponsored by the Lake County board of Supervisors, WorkforceLake and the Lake County Office of Education who want to connect local contractors with local employees that will be ready to help rebuild Lake County.

Clear Lake Splash In

Come out tomorrow to the 36th annual Clear Lake Splash In. An array of Seaplanes will be on display at Natural High School from 9 to 5 Saturday. A flyover will take place at the start of the Kelseyville Pear Festival Parade around 9:20. Admission is $3 for ages 13 and up.

Ukiah man arrested for prowling

A man from Ukiah was arrested on suspicion of prowling after he allegedly tried to get into the Savings Bank on North School Street. Ukiah Police say, an office on patrol saw 23 year old Kenneth Horton peering into one of the windows of the closed business. The officer recognized Horton on a prior arrest for burglary and trespassing.

Wildfire Relief Fund Tops $300,000

New numbers from CAL FIRE last night show the 76-thousand-acre Valley Fire was 87-percent contained.

While firefighters continue to make strides, residents affected by the fire are working to get assistance:

FEMA in Lake County helping those impacted by the wildfire. Those funds were made available after the President granted a major disaster declaration for the Valley fire to help speed up the recovery process. Call (800) 621-FEMA (3362). You can also apply online at:

The major disaster declaration also means that victims of the Valley Fire may qualify for tax relief from the IRS. The declaration permits the IRS to postpone certain deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the disaster area.

If you own a business, low-interest Small Business Administration loans are now available. Businesses and nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets Low-interest loans are also available to homeowners to help repair real estate. Get more information by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955.

Wildfire Relief Fund Tops $300,000

The Wildfire Relief Fund set up by Mendo Lake Credit Union and North Coast Opportunities – has reached just over $300,000 in donations. Residents impacted by the Rocky, Jerusalem, and Valley Fires can apply for assitance.

To to apply for fire relief funds, download an application at To donate to the relief fund, visit any MLCU branch.