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Here is a quick take on the latest updates of wildfires in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and other counties.

5:45 p.m.

A pair of public meetings are planned for Thursday in Sonoma and Santa Rosa to address residents re-entering burned neighborhoods, the cleanup process for damaged and destroyed properties and the search for replacement housing. Local governments are advising residents that improper handling of fire debris can be harmful to personal and public health. Small scale sifting through ashes to locate personal items will not impact residents’ qualification for financial assistance. Large-scale, private removal of debris and ashes requires coordination with government officials.

The two meetings are set for 1 to 3 p.m. at the Sonoma Veterans Memorial Building, 126 1st Street West; and 6 to 8 p.m. at Santa Rosa High School’s gym, 1235 Mendocino Ave. The meetings will include question and answer sessions.

3 p.m.

Mandatory evacuations have been lifted for the Rincon Valley, Skyhawk and Los Alamos areas of Santa Rosa. This includes all evacuated areas north of Highway 12, east of Calistoga Road to Melita Road outside the fire perimeter.

Calistoga Road at Harville Road remains closed.

2:15 p.m.

The city of Santa Rosa advises that for residents returning home to:

Adhere to road closures and any evacuation warnings.

Watch for trees and poles with deep charring, particularly if still smoking, as they should be considered hazardous.

Drive slowly, don’t text and drive, and yield to emergency personnel in the area.

Evaluate damage, and be aware hazardous conditions may exist, particularly if a residence or outbuilding has burned. Hazards may include asbestos, heavy metals, by-products of plastic combustion and various other chemicals.

Check for embers in the attic, which may have entered through vents.

Anticipate firefighters and other heavy equipment working throughout the fire area.

Call 911 if you don’t feel safe or see an emergency.

2:10 p.m.

A coalition of private and public legal organizations have created a free hotline in an effort to provide legal aide to fire victims across the state.

The hotline number is 415-575-3120. Callers can also leave a message. Spanish and Chinese language attorneys will be on the hotline, too.

The attorneys on the hotline will be able to guide victims through a variety of legal issues with a focus on the following:

Landlord tenant legal issues

Life, medical and property insurance issues

Emergency aid applications (FEMA)

Home repair contracts

Mortgage foreclosure issues

Replacement of wills and other important legal documents.

Additional legal resources related to disasters can be found on the State Bar’s website here.

In addition to the State Bar-run hotline, there are two others for Napa and Sonoma counties. The Bay Area Legal Aid’s Legal Advice Hotline, 800-551-5554, is the number for Napa County residents. Additionally, The Healthcare Consumer Center’s line, 855-693-7285, has been set up to aid Sonoma and Napa county residents with medical insurance coverage issues, prescription coverage issues and for those who have relocated out of state.

2 p.m.

The identities of two more Santa Rosa residents killed by the North Coast fires were released Wednesday.

They are, Monte Neil Kirven, 81, and Marilyn Carol Ress, 71.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said there are 50 people missing.

A total of 23 fatalities in Sonoma County from the fires have been reported.

1:18 p.m.

Santa Rosa Junior College will reopen Monday, Oct. 23 All classes and activities will resume at both the Santa Rosa and Petaluma campuses, and sites in southwest Santa Rosa, Shone Farm in Forestville and Public Safety Training Center in Windsor.

Also resuming are online classes, Community Education, Old Adults and Adult Education Classes.

1:05 p.m.

Mandatory evacuation orders for residents in the following areas in Napa County will be lifted at 2. p.m.:

Monticello Road between Vichy Avenue and Wooden Valley Road. Checkpoints will remain in place along Monticello Road to allow access to residents only;

Wild Horse Valley Road will reopen to residents; and

Dry Creek Road from Orchard Avenue to 4591 Dry Creek Road will reopen to residents.

The road closure and mandatory evacuation Order will remain in place north of 4591 Dry Creek Road.

12:05 p.m.

The death toll from the North Bay fires is now 42.

The breakdown by county is Sonoma County 23 deaths, all from the Tubbs fire, Mendocino County 8, Napa County 7 and Yuba County 4.

The remains of the latest Sonoma County death was reported from the Fountaingrove neighborhood.

12 p.m.

The Better Business Bureau offers several tips for those rebuilding after the North Bay fires.

• Watch out for “storm chasers” and home improvement scams. According to the BBB Risk Index here, home improvement scams are typical, with losses average more than $1,400. Storm chasers are workers who show up at homes without identification offering repairs that are unrealistic or using high-pressure sales tactics. Visit here to learn more.

• Check with your insurance company. As soon as possible, contact your insurance provider and ask about policy coverage and specific filing requirements. Take photographs of damage and save all receipts, including for food, temporary lodging or other covered policy expenses.

• Take your time. Avoid letting emotions drive decisions. Don’t make immediate decisions. Take time to shop around and get three estimates based on the same specifications and materials. It’s also important to ask for, and check, references.

• Find a trustworthy business. Visit bbb.org here to find a trustworthy contractor near you.

• Make sure businesses are licensed. According to the Contractors State License Board here, “it is a felony to contract without a license in a declared disaster area.” You can easily verify licenses at www.cslb.ca.gov here.

• Get it in writing. Make sure and get a written contract from anyone you hire. It should specify the work to be done, the materials to be used and the price breakdown for both labor and materials. The more details, the better.

• Don’t pay cash before work starts. Never pay full price in advance and don’t be pressured to pay cash. Establish a payment schedule. Do not make a final payment until you are satisfied with the completed work.

• What to do if you have a problem. If you’re having issues with your contractor and, despite your efforts, they can’t be fixed, contact the BBB here and file a complaint with CSLB here.

10:20 a.m.

The death toll in Sonoma County has jumped to 23, with an additional victim being identified Tuesday afternoon, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said.

The confirmed fatality brings the total Northern California fire-related deaths to 42 since Oct. 8, Cal Fire reports.

9:50 a.m.

Cal Fire reported no overnight changes in the containment of two blazes that have scorched areas of Lake and Mendocino counties.

The Redwood Valley fire in Mendocino County, which caused eight deaths since Oct. 8 and burned 35,800 acres, remained at 75 percent containment Wednesday morning, according to Cal Fire reports.

Yet, all evacuation orders and advisories for the areas north Redwood Valley have been lifted, according to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.

The Sulfur fire that destroyed 134 homes in and around Clearlake remained at 92 percent containment. The fire, which burned 2,207 acres, won’t be 100 percent contained until “hot spots” and environmental damage from firefighting efforts are remediated, said Lake County Sheriff Brian Martin.

9:30 a.m.

Morning fog and increased humidity Wednesday morning didn’t reach higher elevations where most fires were still burning in Sonoma County, said Santa Rosa Assistant Fire Marshal Paul Lowenthal.

The marine layer across parts of the county also kept helicopters grounded, Lowenthal said, but firefighters continued to make overnight gains on fires that have burned 103,285 acres throughout Napa and Sonoma counties since Oct. 8.

The Oakmont branch of the Nuns blaze continued to be the main active fire in the county, Lowenthal said.

Tuesday night people flocked to the recently opened section of Highway 12 east to Pythian Road to watch flames and the red glow on the slopes of Hood Mountain Regional Park to the northeast, Lowenthal said.

The Oakmont branch continued to threaten homes in Rincon Valley west to Calistoga Road, with an evacuation order remaining Wednesday morning.

The Tubbs fire was quiet through the night with crews maintaining fire breaks on Mount St. Helena on the northern edge of the blaze, Lowenthal said.

Back firing operations on the east side of the Pocket fire were “looking pretty good,” he said. “Our firefighters continue to work around the clock to button this fire up.”

7:41 a.m.

Firefighters battling four blazes in Napa and Sonoma counties continued to make gains overnight with containment numbers increasing for each fire, Cal Fire said.

The Atlas fire, which has scorched 51,064 acres in eastern Napa County into Solano County, was 83 percent contained, Cal Fire reported Wednesday morning.

The Nuns fire, engulfing hills above Sonoma Valley, was 70 percent contained after burning 54,423 acres, Cal Fire said.

The Pocket fire, burning 12,430 acres between Geyserville and Cloverdale, stood at 63 percent containment.

The Tubbs fire, which caused 22 deaths in Sonoma County, jumped to 91 percent containment after torching 36,432 acres in Napa and Sonoma counties, Cal Fire said.

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