Wildfire on California Coast Now 45% Contained

Shifting winds and increased humidity helped firefighters make progress against a blaze burning in rugged mountains near California’s Big Sur coast, authorities said.

The Colorado Fire was 45% contained on Tuesday, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire.

It erupted Friday evening as strong, dry, offshore winds raked California with damaging gusts. Since then, winds have calmed and changed direction.

“The onshore winds have increased humidity along the coast,” a Cal Fire statement said. “Firefighters will continue strengthening control lines and mopping-up hot spots.”

Hundreds Evacuated as Crews Battle California Wildfire

Hundreds of residents remained evacuated Sunday as crews battled a wildfire in rugged mountains along the California coast that forced the closure of the main roadway near Big Sur.

One structure, a yurt, was destroyed by the blaze that broke out Friday in a steep canyon and quickly spread toward the sea, fanned by gusts up to 50 mph.

The flames made a big run after winds whipped up again late Saturday, but since then conditions have calmed and crews made some progress against the blaze, said Cecile Juliette, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

California Budget Aims to Tackle Climate Change, Wildfires, Crime

California Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed a $286.4 billion budget that sets off months of budget talks with his fellow Democrats, who control the state Legislature, before the new fiscal year begins July 1.

Newsom focused much of his budget proposal on some of the state’s biggest issues _ climate change, homelessness, education, abortion, high-speed rail, the pandemic, crime.

California Governor Wants $2.7B to Battle Pandemic, Seeks More Time off for Sick Workers

With new coronavirus cases surging across the state, California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration on Saturday proposed spending another $2.7 billion to expand testing and boost hospital staffing, while calling for a new law to give workers more paid time off if they get sick.

California had more than 10,100 people hospitalized with the coronavirus on Friday, or about half of of the peak reached during last winter’s surge. Demand for coronavirus testing has soared along with the state’s case rates, making it difficult for many to get tested in many parts of the state.

California Extending Indoor Mask Mandate Until Mid-February

California’s indoor mask mandate was extended into mid-February to help prevent the astonishing spike in coronavirus cases from overwhelming hospitals but the state’s health director said Wednesday additional restrictions are not being considered.

The fast-spreading omicron variant of COVID-19 is sidelining exposed or infected health care workers, leading to hospital staffing shortages that could become a bigger problem.

PG&E Blamed for Dixie Fire in Northern California

Pacific Gas & Electric power lines sparked last summer’s Dixie Fire in Northern California that swept through five counties and burned more than 1,300 homes and other buildings, state fire officials said Tuesday.

The blaze was caused by a tree hitting electrical distribution lines west of a dam in the Sierra Nevada, where the blaze began on July 13, according to investigators with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Vaccinated California Employees Face Workplace Restrictions

In a move criticized by business groups and hailed by labor advocates, California’s workplace regulators extended the state’s coronavirus pandemic regulations into next year with revisions that employers said could worsen the state’s severe labor shortage.

The revised rules require that vaccinated but asymptomatic workers who come in close contact with someone infected with the virus must wear masks and stay 6 feet from others for 14 days if they return to work.

The current rules allow those employees to keep working without restrictions unless they show symptoms _ under the assumption that the vaccine generally will protect them.

Father, Son Charged With Starting Massive California Wildfire Plead Not Guilty

A father and son charged with starting a massive California wildfire that destroyed many homes and forced tens of thousands of people to flee Lake Tahoe communities earlier this year pleaded not guilty in court.

The El Dorado County prosecutor’s office charged David Scott Smith, 66, and Travis Shane Smith, 32, with reckless arson. The office also charged the son with illegal conversion or manufacture of a machine gun and both men of illegal possession of a firearm silencer.

Report: California Workers’ Comp Covid Claim Volume Trending Down After Summer Surge

The summer surge of COVID-19 claims that hit the California workers’ compensation system in July and August appears to have run its course, according to the California Workers’ Compensation Institute.

A CWCI analysis released on Tuesday shows the number of claims reported to the state Division of Workers’ Compensation in September and October fell sharply, with the projected claim count for October falling to 3,621 cases, down nearly 56% from the 8,197 claims projected for the summer peak in August.

Former Governor Focuses on Saving California Forests from Wildfires

As smoke lingered in the air amid another destructive California wildfire season, former Gov. Jerry Brown invited a group to his ranch for an urgent conversation: What more could be done to save California’s forests from wildfires?

The reality of what has become annual fire devastation for the state has become more a part of Brown’s life since he built his retirement home on a stretch of land where his great-grandfather settled in the 1850s, about 60 miles northwest of Sacramento.

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