Fires, Evacuations, Outages

6 PM: Parts of Mendocino County near Covelo ordered to evacuate due to fire threat

Residents living east of Covelo are being told to evacuate due to an uncontained wildfire that’s burned about 40 acres and already has destroyed one structure, Cal Fire said.

Residents living near Short Creek and Hill road and the Capistran Ranch are being ordered to leave due to the Creek fire, according to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.

Another fire is burning in Mendocino County, a 25-acre blaze in the Potter Valley area, according to Cal Fire.

5:30 PM: Outages remain imminent as grid operator urges conservation

California’s main electric grid operator urged Californians to continue conserving energy after staving off rolling blackouts Monday and so far Tuesday afternoon during the ongoing heatwave.

The California Independent Systems Operator, a nonprofit that oversees the broader electric grid and monitors energy demand and supply statewide, said mid-afternoon it was “seeing consumer conservation make a dent” but that “power outages are still likely for energy shortfalls.”

A PG&E spokeswoman reiterated the importance of reducing electricity usage and noted that it’s the Independent Systems Operator, not PG&E, that orders the rolling blackouts. The utility remained on standby if it was ordered to impose “potential rotating outages,” said spokeswoman Deanna Contreras.

“With the record heatwave expected to continue through Thursday night, PG&E strongly encourages all customers to continue conserving to reduce the overall demand for power,” Contreras said in a statement, adding that the rolling blackouts are different from the planned power outages PG&E occasionally imposes to prevent its equipment from starting wildfires.

An outage in Santa Rosa affecting about 349 customers is under investigation and is not the result of a rolling blackout, Contreras said. A separate, planned outage is affecting about 134 Guerneville customers, she said.

If PG&E is told to turn off power, outages are expected to last 1 to 2 hours, according to the utility’s website, which includes a schedule of estimated shutoff times by outage block. Customers can locate their outage block on their most recent bill and can also look up outage blocks by address online.

In an unusual step, the Santa Rosa City Council postponed its Tuesday afternoon meeting in the stated interest of saving power. The council was set to discuss a new wildfire protection plan among other matters and is now scheduled to have that conversation next Tuesday.

5 PM: Napa County evacuation orders expanded as multiple fires grow

Napa County evacuation orders in place have been expanded to include residents living along the western shoreline of Lake Berryessa as the Hennessey, Gamble and 15-10 fires continue to scorch more than 12,000 acres.

Areas under evacuation order due to the immediate threat to life now include everything west of Lake Berryessa along Berryessa Knoxville Road between Highway 128 and East Side Road, according to Cal Fire.

This also includes Pope Canyon Road from Berryessa Knoxville Road to Pope Valley Road, Hardin Road, and the Shadhiliyya Sufi Center, as well as the area from the intersection of Pope Canyon and Snell Valley roads to the Berryessa Estates subdivision, Cal Fire said.

The agency also noted that the area along Steele Canyon Road from Highway 128 to and including the Berryessa Highlands subdivision was subject to evacuation orders.

The evacuation orders combined cover about 5,700 people in 1,900 homes, according to a Napa County spokesperson.

4:10 PM: Evacuation ordered west of Meyers Grade Road in Sonoma County

Residents west of Meyers Grade Road south of Fort Ross and north of Jenner are under formal orders to evacuate due to the threat of a wildfire that started Monday.

The order includes all households between Meyers Grade Road and the coast, south of Fort Ross Road, and north the intersection of Meyers Grade Road and Highway 1.

Residents are to leave now, Cal Fire officials said.

(courtesy The Press Democrat)

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