TWO VEGETATION FIRES BROKE OUT east of Ukiah on Friday afternoon sending upwards large plumes of white smoke visible for miles around. These two fires come on top of several other northern California fires, taxing firefighting resources which were spread thin to begin with.
The “Ranch Fire” near the Buffalo Ranch at Highway 20 and the junction to Potter Valley was up to over 600 acres in the afternoon and growing.
The “River Fire” near Talmage produced evacuation warnings (not orders — yet) including the County’s Office of Education which began preliminary evacuation about 4pm Friday afternoon. The Friday afternoon warning covered from the 6800 block of Old River Road to the Yokayo Rancheria. No warnings had yet been issued on the Ranch Fire near Potter Valley.
One local Calfire official noted the winds and high temperatures, adding “it’s pretty aggressive fire behavior.” So far, Highway 20 northeast of the fires has not been closed.
MEANWHILE the huge Carr Fire outside of Redding continues to grow, destroying more homes, and leaving two firefighters dead. The Sacramento Bee described the Carr Fire as “a monster blaze,” and a “wall of flames” which firefighters are struggling to establish fire lines against. Dozens of homes are destroyed, evacuations have been ordered with more expected, the fire is “erratic,” daytime temps went well over 100 and high winds up to 25mph were said to be pushing the fire in the direction of Redding’s 91,000 population. As of Friday afternoon the fire had consumed over 69 square miles. Smoke plumes from the fire (and others) can be easily seen on satellite photos. More of the same conditions were expected Saturday.
CALFIRE, Saturday, 2:30am: River Fire (Hopland) east of Highway 101 at 5600 acres; Ranch Fire (Potter Valley northeast of Highway 20) at 2700 acres. No cause listed for either, no containment for either, both burning east towards Lake County with many structures threatened. CalFire is calling both the "Mendocino Complex Incident."
EVACUATION MAPS (Saturday morning):
CALFIRE TWEETS (Saturday morning):
#RiverFire [update 8:12am] off Old River Road, near Mile Marker Post 7.9, Hopland (Mendocino County) is now 6,000 acres and 2% contained.
#RanchFire [update 8:16am] off Highway 20 near Potter Valley, northeast of Ukiah (Mendocino County) is now 3,500 acres and 2% contained.