Monday Must Reads: Harbin Hot Springs and Two NorCal Towns Ravaged by Fire; Blazes Envelop Dry California


Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. A raging wildfire in Lake County, north of Napa County, destroyed Harbin Hot Springs, a popular resort, and ripped through the towns of Middletown and Cobb over the weekend, the Chron reports. The intense fire spread quickly through drought stricken areas, destroying hundreds of homes and forcing thousands of people to flee. The Valley Fire grew to 61,000 acres over night, and was one of three major blazes burning in dry California.

Rough Fire.
  • Rough Fire.
2. Another major fire, the Butte Fire, roared through Amador and Calaveras counties in the Sierra foothills, the SacBee$ reports. The 65,000-acre blaze destroyed 86 homes and enveloped much of the Sierra in thick smoke. Fire crews were also busy battling the Rough Fire, east of Fresno, which, at 129,000 acres, is the largest fire burning in the state.

3. State lawmakers on Friday sent a landmark aid-in-dying bill to Governor Jerry Brown that would allow physicians to prescribe life-ending drugs to terminally ill patients, the Mercury News$ reports.

4. The state legislature also approved a bill that would expand unpaid family leave to include taking time off to care for siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, domestic partners, and parents-in-law, the SacBee$ reports.

5. And faced with staunch opposition from law enforcement lobbyists, the Assembly defeated legislation that would have banned the seizure of assets, including cars, cash, and property, in legal cases in which the person was not convicted of a crime, the LA Times$ reports.