Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino Complex Morning Update (Aug. 13, 2018)


WILLOWS, Calif. —  The Ranch Fire grew approximately 13,000 acres in the last twenty-four hours and is currently 295,970 acres and 58 percent contained. The Ranch Fire is burning in the Snow Mountain Wilderness and the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument.

There are over 3,000 firefighters assigned to the Mendocino Complex. This includes 41 firefighters from Australia and New Zealand and 200 active duty military firefighters from the 14th Brigade Engineer Battalion. The cooperation from CAL FIRE, the United States Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the US Military has contributed greatly to the efforts on the fires.

Ranch Fire: On Sunday, the fire crossed the dozer line along McLeod Ridge and moved toward Rice Fork Summer Homes and Lake Pillsbury. This area remains under a mandatory evacuation order. Firefighters worked through the night and held the fire along the Eel River. Firefighters burned off the dozer line along Gilmore Ridge and north through the 2012 Mill Fire scar toward Davis Flat. The operation went well and the line is holding. Good progress was made constructing dozer line along Bushy Camp and Noel Ridges. Air tankers and helicopters were used to support firefighters on the ground.

Monday, fire crews will be patrolling and providing structure defense in the Rice Fork Homes and Pillsbury Lake areas and working to hold the fire at the Eel River. Firefighters will hold and patrol the dozer line along Gilmore Ridge and north through the 2012 Mill Fire scar toward Davis Flat. This is to secure the fire’s northeast corner to keep the fire west of Stonyford and Century Ranch. Construction of a contingency dozer line along Noel Springs Ridge and Bushy Camp Ridge will continue. Work will continue on the construction of a contingency line west of Stonyford to Black Diamond Ridge.

OES Strike Team Structure Protection Pillsbury Lake Aug 12 by Dave Mills USFS (click to enlarge)

Firefighters are improving the roads around the northern and western edges of the Pine Mountain Project to keep the fire east of Potter Valley. Crews will improve the contingency dozer line around Potter Valley.

Air tankers and helicopters will be used to support the firefighters on the ground and slow the fire’s progress as smoke conditions allow. 

There are many areas that the fire has burned through that are extremely important to many people. Letts Lake is a great example of one of these areas. When it is safe to do so, these areas will be assessed and the information made available to the public.

Hunters are reminded that the entire fire area is closed to hunting. This is to provide for firefighter and hunter safety. For a specific map, please see the Mendocino National Forest web page at

Resource Advisors: These are individuals on the fire who provide professional knowledge and expertise toward the protection of natural, cultural, and other resources on wildland fires. There are several of them on the Ranch Fire.  They are working closely with firefighters to minimize the amount of damage caused to the natural and cultural resources by the firefighting efforts. The Resource Advisors are also making sure the damage is repaired when it does occur. This is especially important on the dozer lines.

River Fire: The River Fire has not grown in several days and is currently 48,920 acres and 93 percent contained. Fire Suppression Repair is continuing. Fire Suppression Repair is the repair of damage caused directly from fighting the fire but not by the fire.

Fire Area Weather: The weather is predicted to be similar to yesterday. There was poor recovery overnight and today is expected to be very dry.

Smoke: Smoke impacts will continue to be heavy in communities near the Ranch Fire, including Clearlake, Stonyford, Potter Valley as well as the surrounding communities of Ukiah, Willits and Willows. Moderate impacts are expected west of the fires in Ukiah, Hopland and Willits. The north and central Sacramento Valley will have heavy to moderate smoke impacts from the Ranch Fire as well as other regional fires.

Below is the link to the smoke forecast for today:

photo by Angela Mendoza (click to enlarge)


Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *