I’m Ventura County Star reporter Cheri Carlson writing from a toasty Agoura Hills with the news to know this Thursday. 

But first, there may be an end in sight to the extreme heat. Well, at least a little bit and at least in the desert. The Desert Sun says Coachella Valley residents only need to get through the weekend before triple-digit temperatures dip into the double digits for the rest of the year.

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Census: Today is the last day to get counted

A 2020 census letter

Thursday is the last day to complete the Census and there’s still time to go online and get it done. Census officials said the online survey is available through 11:59 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time. That’s 2:59 a.m. Oct. 16 in California.

Why does it matter? The count is used to distribute more than $675 billion in federal funding for schools, health systems, roads and bridges. It also affects how many members represent a state in the U.S. House of Representatives. City and state leaders were urging residents to participate, the Sacramento Bee reported.

“If you don’t, you will absolutely be invisible for the next 10 years,” said Ditas Katague, director of the California Complete Count – Census 2020. “We don’t want people having someone else, either erasing them or answering for them. Your community is going to be impacted for the next 10 years.”

Nearly 53,000 PG&E customers face power shutoffs

A map shows PG&E's locations in Shasta and Tehama counties where the utility's public safety power shutoff is planned starting later on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. The maps shows places east of Anderson in eastern Shasta County stretching from Dersch Road, past Viola to areas near the intersection of Highways 44 and 89. Nearly 4,700 customers in Shasta County and 1,230 in Tehama County could see their power shut off about 6 p.m. Wednesday due to dangerous fire weather.

Tens of thousands of Northern California residents could lose power for a third day as hot, dry, windy conditions continue.

In some spots, Pacific Gas and Electric turned off power to try to prevent its equipment from sparking wildfires over the past two days. Now, the utility company says outages will continue through Friday and could affect customers in two dozen counties.

In total, nearly 53,000 PG&E customers could lose power, the Redding Record Searchlight reported. A red flag warning also is in effect through 11 a.m. Friday in parts of the northern half of the state. 

Meanwhile, parts of Southern California will face their own red flag warning as the familiar combo of heat and Santa Ana winds picks up.

The National Weather Service warned of potentially dangerous fire conditions in the mountains of Ventura and Los Angeles counties, as well as the Santa Clarita Valley and the coastal slopes of the San Bernardino and Santa Ana ranges. 

The Bruder Fire had burned 100 acres in Redlands after igniting Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020.

“We’ve got very hot temperatures, very low humidities down into the single digits and strong gusty winds tomorrow morning,” meteorologist David Sweet told the Ventura County Star on Thursday.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection is increasing staffing, the Los Angeles Times said, and asked residents to get prepared. “With red flag conditions in many parts of the state over the next couple of days, fires in these areas can spread rapidly,” Cal Fire officials wrote in a Thursday update.

GOP says it won’t comply with cease-and-desist letter

On Monday, a sign at Selma's Central Valley Guns in Fresno County claims to be an "Authorized Secure Ballot Drop." The Secretary of State's office issued a memo to county registrars this weekend clarifying that unofficial drop boxes are illegal and ballots must be returned by mail or to official polling places, vote centers, or ballot drop-off locations.

Officials with the California Republican Party say they won’t comply with a cease-and-desist letter from state officials telling them to stop using unofficial ballot boxes. 

GOP officials say the ballot dropboxes are legal and they have no plans to remove them.

The battle over the boxes started last weekend when they started showing up in a few California counties. On Monday, California’s attorney general and secretary of state sent the cease-and-desist letter, saying the boxes violated the law.

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