Mendocino Fire Complex explodes in size, now 2nd largest fire in history of California

Mendocino Fire Complex explodes in size, now 2nd largest fire in history of California

The Mendocino Fire Complex in California exploded in size over the weekend and is now the second largest wildfire in the history of California. It's on the pace to become the largest wildfire in state's history.

The fire has consumed 110 747 hectares (273 664 acres) of land and is only 30% contained as of 07:00 PDT, August 6, 2018. The complex is comprised of two fires, the River Fire and the Ranch Fire.

The River Fire is located northeast of the community of Hopland, and the Ranch Fire is located northeast of Ukiah, in Lake County and Mendocino County, California. The Ranch Fire is actively burning in the Mendocino National Forest north of Clearlake.

This fire is expected to become the largest wildfire in the history of California, surpassing the Thomas fire (2017) which burned more than 113 700 ha (281 000 acres).

The fire has prompted evacuations of some 20 000 people from Mendocino, Lake and Colusa counties. However, with 75 residences and 68 other buildings destroyed, it has been less destructive than some other wildfires in California this season. 93 000 buildings are still threatened.

"It is extremely fast, extremely aggressive, extremely dangerous," said Scott McLean, a deputy chief with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. "Look how big it got, just in a matter of days.… Look how fast this Mendocino Complex went up in ranking. That doesn’t happen. That just doesn’t happen."

At this time, Mendocino Fire Complex is just one of 18 large wildfires burning across California. In total, the fires scorched 226 219 ha (559 000 acres) of land.

In Redding, the Carr fire has claimed seven lives and more than 1 000 homes while growing to 66 047 ha (163 207 acres) in size, making the deadly blaze now the 12th largest wildfire in state history.


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Mandatory evacuations

Mendocino County

SR CA-20 area from one mile south of SR CA-20, east of Potter Valley Road, south of the fire perimeter, and west of Mendocino-Lake County Line.

Cow Mountain Area of Mendocino County (South of SR-20, west of the Mendocino/Lake County line, east of the intersection of North Cow Mountain Road and the Cow Mountain Access Road, and north of the current fire perimeter of the River Fire) 

Lake County

East of the Lake-Mendocino County Line, south of the Lake-Mendocino-Glenn County Line, West of the Lake-Colusa County Line, north of SR 20.

East of the Lake-Mendocino County Line, south of SR 20, east of Hill Road, North of Riggs Rd.

Colusa County

The town limits of Stonyford, west to the Colusa-Lake County line and North to Colusa-Glenn County line, Century Ranch sub-division, east and west side of East Park Reservoir, Lodoga from Squaw Creek Inn south and all areas West of Bear Valley Road to Hwy 20.

Evacuation advisory/warning

Mendocino County

South of the Eel River, east of the Eel River Road, east of the East Side Potter Valley Road, East of Potter Valley Road to SR 20, north of SR 20, west of the Mendocino Lake County Line

South of the fire perimeter, east of intersection SR 175 and Old River Road, north of Mendocino Couny/Sonoma County Line, west of Mendocino/Lake County Line

South of Yokayo Ranch Road, east of the Russian River, west of the Lake/Mendocino County Line, north of the Old River Road/SR 175 intersection.

East Ukiah Valley Area (south of SR-20, east of the east side of Lake Mendocino and east of the Russian River, north of Yokayo Rancheria Road, and west of the intersection of North Cow Mountain Road and Cow Mountain Access Road) 

Lake County

South of the Nice-Lucerne Cutoff Road, west of Clear Lake, north of 11th Street, and east of Hill Road.

South of 11th Street, west of Clearlake, north of SR 29 and SR 175, east of the River Fire perimeter.

South of SR 29 and SR 175, west of Highland Springs Road, north and east of the Lake-Mendocino County line, and east of the River Fire perimeter.

Western Colusa County

East of the Lake-Colusa County Line (Bartlett Springs Road/Brim Road) to Leesville-Lodoga Road, north to Lodoga, west to the National Forest boundary, North along the National Forest boundary to the Colusa-Glenn County Line, and west to the Colusa-Lake County Line.

Glenn County

North of the Glenn County/Colusa County Line, west of County Road 306, south of County Road 308, east of the Mendocino National Forest Boundary.

Featured image credit: Petaluma Fire Department

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