What can be said after the horrific past 10 plus days of yet another record-breaking disaster in our county. There are no words that can soothe the pain and sorrow that our friends, neighbors and loved ones are trying to work through. Lake County Strong is once again the mantra that we, as a community, need to hold onto to get through the devastating Mendocino Complex fire that continues to ravage our countryside and arrogantly pushes through to torture our neighbors, Mendocino and Colusa counties.

Thank you does not seem like enough for the work of the courageous Firefighters, Sheriff’s Officers, Police and First Responders from across the country and around the world who risked their lives to save homes and families. How do you spread your arms wide enough to embrace those who selflessly fought to preserve where we live? There is a way to show your appreciation for their work and that is to not give up on that which they fought so valiantly to save, our home Lake County.

Unfortunately, there is no formula for recovery, as we have gone through an unprecedented amount of fires and financial hardship in the past decade. I urge everyone to work together to see to it that our community comes back stronger than we were before. Cooperation among the different agencies to assist in the rebuild, out of the box thinking and a lot of not taking no as an answer will be a start. The most important ingredient in this Recovery Soup will be us, all 65,000 plus of us, and our ability to take a deep breath and make it happen.

It will be a long road to recovery, but for the sake of our community and what we have grown to love about our county, there is no option. God Bless Lake County and keep Lake County Strong!



Joe Casteel

2018 President, Lake County Chamber of Commerce
Owner, North Bay Merchant Services

Joe Casteel is a 20 year veteran of the Electronic Payment industry and moved his business to Lake County in 2006. A proud member of the Lake County Chamber of Commerce and current President, Joe and his wife Jacie have called Lake County their home since 2001.