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Evacuations Ordered, 300 Acre Blaze Breaks Out North Of Ukiah

Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 5:30pm:

At least 10 structures have been destroyed Sunday afternoon by a vegetation fire that broke out in the town of Calpella, about 10 miles north of Ukiah.

The blaze, which authorities are calling the Hopkins fire, was reported shortly after 2 p.m. near Moore and East Hopkins streets, just over a mile west of Lake Mendocino’s northwest shore, officials said, adding that a cause has not been determined.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has ordered mandatory evacuations as winds have fed the fast-moving blaze, which has grown to at least 300 acres and has burned its way to Lake Mendocino, according to reports from the scene.

Authorities said evacuation shelters will be available at 6 p.m., adding that more information on their locations will be released at that time.

Just before 4 p.m., Cal Fire reported the blaze had grown to about 300 acres. There is no containment.

According to reports from the scene, the blaze has destroyed at least 10 structures along East Side Calpella Road. No word on any injuries.

Strong winds are coming out of the northwest and are feeding the blaze.

Press Democrat photographer Kent Porter is in Calpella and staff writers are on their way there.

Calpella, which has a population of about 700, is about 61 miles northwest of Santa Rosa. It is a rural community bordering Lake Mendocino.

Porter said he saw several homes on fire along Lake Ridge Drive, as well as several more burning along Marina Drive between Lake Mendocino and Calpella.

Cal Fire is the lead agency but is being assisted by numerous fire agencies including Ukiah Valley, Calpella, and Redwood Valley.

Fire personnel are battling the blaze from the air.

Mandatory evacuations have been ordered along East Side Calpella Road between Cortina Place and Marina Drive, according to an alert sent by the Sheriff’s Office.

Evacuation orders have also been issued for all of East Side Calpella Road from Highway 20 to Marina Drive. The south border of Lake Mendocino Drive. The East border of Lake Mendocino. And, the North Border of Highway 20, according to the Mendocino County Office of Emergency Services.

The Sheriff’s Office urged people to “use the safest route to leave the area immediately.”

Pacific, Gas & Electricty is reporting 1,711 customers are without power in the area. The outage started at 2:37 p.m., according to PG&E.

Most PG&E customers without power are in Redwood Valley and Ukiah, according to JD Guidi, a PG&E spokesman. It's unclear when power will be back up again, he said.

No further information was immediately available.

Hopkins Fire at 3:53pm — view from Ridgewood Grade, looking south —Lake Mendocino and Highway 101 at lower right

Mendocino Sheriff Update, 4:30pm:



  • North border is Highway 20 and Road 144 (on ramp/off ramp to Redwood Valley)
  • East border is Lake Mendocino (the lake itself)
  • South border is Lake Mendocino Drive
  • West border is East Side Calpella Road between Highway 20 and Lake Mendocino Drive


  • North border is Road B in Redwood Valley
  • East border is the East Side of Lake Mendocino (lake itself)
  • South border is Redemeyer Road (Hulda Drive & Rafello Drive)
  • West border is North State Street

ROAD CLOSURES: Lake Mendocino Drive @ the bridge where Lake Mendocino Subdivision is found.


Sunday, 2:57pm: The Nixle Alert system from the Sheriff’s Office:

Mandatory Evacuations For The Area East Side Calpella Rd Between The Area Of Cortina Pl And Marina Dr.

Warning For Area Of Eastside Calpella Rd From Highway 20 To Marina Dr.

Additional Information To Follow As Details Come Available.

INSTRUCTIONS: Mandatory Evactuation For The Area Of Road 144 To 5000 Block Of Eastside Caleplla, Please Use The Safest Route To Leave The Area Immediately.


  1. Marmon September 12, 2021

    I hear the helicopters are draining what’s left of the lake to save all those homes up there on the ridge and the development at the old landfill. Beautiful homes, screw the lower Russian River.


    • sam kircher September 12, 2021

      The natural state of the lower Russian River = screwed in the summer. The natural state of those beautiful homes… yeah, that too.

    • Stephen Rosenthal September 13, 2021

      Who did you hear that from? Your usual sources? Trump? OANN? Fox News? The firefighters prevented much more devastation by an immediate and all out attack. You live in Lake County. Mind your own business.

  2. k h September 14, 2021

    I appreciate all the reporting on this fire (and others) from Danilla Sands, Matt LaFever, the UDJ, Ukiah Post, and the whole team at the Press Democrat.

    How do other people feel about all the video reporting? I’m curious.

    Many, if not most people in this county do not have great access to fast internet. Cell phones struggle to download and process such bandwidth-heavy material and if people are out of range of wifi, good luck.

    When people are dealing with an emergency in real time (say, if they’ve been evacuated and are looking for shelter) expecting them to be able to drive around until they find public wifi in order to download a bunch of video and pdfs does not seem realistic.
    Video engages eyeballs but it’s doesn’t seem to be the best way to present quick, efficient info in an unfolding emergency. I see the most incredibly dim comments after some of these posts, I don’t know what to make of it.

    I’m not sure if the video trend is because so many of these sites are optimizing for ad revenue, YouTube, Facebook engagement, etc., or if they really think video is an important information sharing tool.

    City, county and state agencies like CalFire use the same kinds of bandwidth intensive media to distribute emergency information. Sometimes they distribute info via image heavy PDFs which have to be downloaded as well.

    Text updates work so much better. There’s a reason every one of these news sites use the CHP traffic info page for quick real time information about accidents and emergencies – it’s easily readable in an instant and doesn’t require a time consuming download.

    I appreciate all the work these reporters are doing. I’m not trying to be critical of a really important job that people have taken on for the sake of their communities. It takes a lot of time, effort and energy to get the facts, build a site to share them, moderate comments, etc.

    Curious what others think here.

  3. k h September 14, 2021

    I feel like the AVA’s readers probably already know this, but this is what I have bookmarked in my Fire Folder on my browser toolbar. I can right click and open them all in one click when I hear a tanker tank off.

    CHP traffic info page

    PGE wildfire cameras

    PGE weather page


    MendoActionNews FB group

    In addition, I have a link to a twitter list that follows local news reporters, editors, photographers, local websites like KymKemp/LoCo/PD, and agencies like CalTransDistrict1, Sheriff, Police, etc. It is a much better source than waiting on video to download if I am away from my desktop computer.

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