Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke looks at damage caused by the Carr Fire in northern California. "Wow. This used to be the neighborhood of some of my employees," an August 11 post on Twitter reads. Photo: Secretary Zinke

Hopland Band shuts down casino due to largest wildfire in state history

The Hopland Band of Pomo Indians has shut down its casino, citing a huge wildfire on its homelands in northern California.

In a post on Facebook, the Sho-Ka-Wah Casino said it was "forced to close" due to the ongoing threat. The Mendocino Complex, consisting of two fires that are the largest in state history, has burned nearly 350,000 acres in and around tribal homelands in two counties.

The tribe is promising to reopen after a renovation. But in the meantime, all employees have been laid off, The Ukiah Daily Journal reported.

"Also, since we are about to begin heavy renovation of the casino, we will remain closed for a short time and reopen when we are finished with the remodel," the August 7 post reads.

No further details were provided about the project. A post prior to the announcement said there was "no time frame" for completion.

The casino originally evacuated on July 28 due to the River Fire, according to another post That blaze has since merged with the Ranch Fire.

"Several of our employees and their families have been affected by the fires and we want to give them time and space during these difficult times," follow-up post on July 30 read, before the announcement about the renovation.

Additionally, the Carr Fire has burned more than 200,000 acres, also in and around tribal homelands in two more northern California counties. The Trump administration has sent two Cabinet officials to the region to survey the damage.

An August 7 post on Facebook announced an indefinite closure of the Sho-Ka-Wah Casino in Hopland, California.

"I have no words that describe the loss and devastation experienced by the community," Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke wrote in a post on Twitter on Sunday. "I’ve been to a lot of fires and this is just something else. We are here for you."

The Mendocino Complex was 68 percent contained as of Monday morning, with the River portion being the most under control.

The Carr Fire was 61 percent contained as of Monday afternoon.

Read More on the Story:
Sho-Ka-Wah casino in Hopland closes; employees receive layoff notices (The Ukiah Daily Journal August 10, 2018)

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