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August Complex Update

WILLOWS, Calif. – Sept. 27, 2020 – Critical fire weather conditions exist on the August Complex Sunday with extremely hot and dry conditions in place for several days. Slow growth for several days has brought the August Complex to 873,079 acres with 43% containment.

In preparation for this significant change in weather, fire crews continued to carry out the strategic objectives for the incident by mopping up and ensuring that dozer lines, hose lays, and structure protection plans near Lake Pillsbury area and in other critical areas were ready for potential fire spread and for firelines to be tested. The east side of the South Zone is fully contained, and is being patrolled with aircraft to identify any threats to control lines.

As of Sunday, the last remaining elements of the 14th Brigade Engineering Battalion from Joint Base Lewis-McChord departed the August Complex after fighting fire for 30 days. “The hard work by these dedicated soldiers made a significant impact on the South Zone of the August Complex,” said Mike Quesinberry, Incident Commander of the National Incident Management Organization (NIMO). “This unit provided additional capacity when national resources were critically low, and played an important role in increasing containment and protecting structures.”

Today’s critical fire weather conditions could contribute to active fire behavior. The public is reminded to adhere to all evacuation orders and warnings and not enter the fire area.

Weather: A Red Flag Warning is in effect for hot, dry, and windy conditions. Clear skies, higher temperatures, and lower humidity is in the forecast for Saturday, with temperatures of 85-90 degrees at higher elevations and 95-100 degrees in valleys. Winds will be northwest at 12-18 mph with gusts to 25 mph in some areas.

Evacuations: In the South Zone of the August Complex, evacuation orders are in place for portions of Mendocino and Lake counties. Please see each of the respective county sheriff’s office or emergency management websites for specific evacuation information. Evacuation information can also be found at

Closures: Forest Order No. 08-20-13 is in effect for the Mendocino National Forest. Residents and property owners may return to their properties within the Mendocino National Forest in Glenn County and Tehama County, but access to the Forest Service closure area for other purposes, including hunting and recreation, is prohibited. Properties accessed via a Forest System road may require a permit from the US Forest Service. Please contact the Mendocino National Forest at 530-934-3316 for more information.

Incident information is available on InciWeb:

  • Date Started: August 17, 2020
  • Acres Burned: 873,079 (All Zones)
  • Containment: 43%
  • Cause: Lightning
  • Structures Threatened: 1,595
  • Structures Destroyed: 35
  • Expected Containment: November 15, 2020

(USDA Forest Service, Mendocino National Forest)

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