Good morning, North State. Here's what you need to know to start your day on Sept. 21.
The Bear Fire has burned 80,500 acres and killed 15 people. Crews have the fire 56% contained. The fire continues to threaten over 10,000 structures and has already destroyed 1,784.
Containment on the biggest fire in California history - has slipped from 38 to 34%. The August Complex has burned over 836,000 acres in Glenn and Tehama counties. CAL FIRE and the forest service crews are battling this one.
Over 200,000 people in the United States have now died from COVID-19, and reported cases now top 6.7 million, according to NBC news. California, Texas, Florida, and New York also reporting the highest number of cases. Last March, the White House coronavirus task force, member doctor Deborah Birx, predicted roughly 100,000 to 200,000 deaths if Americans followed strict safety protocols. Medical experts are now predicting our country could see 400,000 lives lost by January. California has surpassed 15,000 coronavirus deaths.
Capitol Hill is deeply divided over what happens now after the death of supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The president and many Republicans now promising to quickly fill the vacancy. Former Vice President, Joe Biden, and democrats say a Senate vote before the election could create a constitutional crisis.
California to pause unemployment claims for 2 weeks
The California Employment Development Department will not accept any new unemployment claims for two weeks to combat fraud within the state's unemployment system. People who are already in the process of receiving claims will not be impacted by the changes. In a written statement, officials say it is still working to correct a backlog of nearly 600,000 claims.
Census count burden
The U.S. Census Bureau is facing an even tighter deadline for counting the nation's population. The bureau is in the final weeks of the once a decade headcount. In California and Oregon, thousands have been forced out of their homes due to fires before they could be counted. In many communities, in the southeast hit by hurricanes Laura and Sally in the past several weeks, thousands more who have been displaced are also uncounted.
PG&E crews working to convert powerlines underground in Chico
One busy stretch of roadway in Chico will be temporarily blocked to drivers. PG&E crews will be working to convert above-ground power lines into underground lines. The construction will delay traffic near Warner and Ivy streets downtown as crews from PG&E will be removing overhead power lines and 44 utility poles construction. This started at 7 a.m. Monday in the morning and lasts until 5 in the afternoon.
Corning Union High School moving back to all distance learning
Corning Union High School is moving back to all distance learning after two high school students tested positive. A post on the school's social media page says both students were on campus while infectious. School reps say all students and staff who came into contact are under quarantine. The post says the school will remain in full distance learning for at least the next two days.