58 Structures Now Threatened as Lodge Fire Expands, Maps and Photos of the Area

Entrance to firefighters’ base camp just north of Laytonville. [Photo by Kim Sallaway. Follow him on Facebook here.]

The Lodge Fire continues to burn through vegetation in the rugged forests and steep mountains of northern Mendocino. As of this morning, the blaze has claimed 8500 acres and is only 30% contained [UPDATED: 8700 acres and is 35 % contained.] 58 structures are now listed as threatened. (See maps below.) 

The top map shows the north edge of the fire burning towards Hwy 101 and the Eel River. The bottom map shows the southeast edge of the fire. The bottom image includes the key to both maps. The bottom of the top map slightly overlaps coverage with the top of the bottom map. Click on either image to make it larger.


Bob Barsotti who lives north of Laytonville and attended a briefing with Cal Fire officials today wrote a synopsis of what he learned. Barsotti said firefighters

…. were able to hold the fire in check most of yesterday meaning that they didn’t let the blow over on Brushy Mt [and] spread east…

They haven’t completed the line on the southeast side yet but are working on it. They did some back firing at Camp Seabow and were able to increase the size of the line there. The fire still has not spread across the Eel south of Horseshoe Bend, meaning that it hasn’t progressed towards the Nature Conservancy and the back side of Black Oak Mountain.

The fire has entered the 10 Mile Canyon on the north side of the creek on Brushy Mt. This is part of their plan of getting it to burn up to their fire line from Brushy Mt to Camp Seabow. They are saying they’ll be here 10 more days, maybe longer.  

There is a chance of more dry lightening starting this afternoon, mostly in Humboldt and Trinity counties.  If any new fires are started, personnel will be called from here to fight those blazes.

Cal Fire spokesperson Julie Cooley said that officials are worried about the unusual weather headed into the area. Cooley explained that normally this time of year it is mostly hot and dry but today and tomorrow will see more winds and possibly even dry lightning though that is unlikely. 

“Abundant lightning” is predicted by the US National Weather Service for Humboldt, Trinity and Del Norte Counties today. The unusual weather should bypass most of Mendocino. However, lightning strikes in other areas could result in personnel being pulled off the Lodge Fire. [Photo provided by Kim Sallaway shows a storm that struck Northern California over 20 years ago.]

Smoke is creating a problem to the north of the fire after mostly being in the southeast the last few days.  According to Leggett resident Melissa Rosenthal, an inversion layer has pushed heavy smoke down into the valleys. “It’s really bad today,” she explained.

Fortunately, The Laytonville Fire Department which has faced thick smoke the last few days has some help for local residents. The volunteer fire department donated four hundred N59 N95 masks to the Red Cross stationed in Leggett. 

Paramedic Rick Davis with the Laytonville Valley Fire Department stated, “We will supply masks to those who need them.” His department will help residents in their own area, too. However, he asks that people not request the items lightly. “We are reserving them for those that really need it–respiratory issues, failing health, cancer patients, etc.,” he explained.  

Mendocino Air Quality Advisory states that today pollutants are expected to be at “unhealthy levels” though people near Laytonville say that, compared to the last few days, the smoke has lightened considerably.

Smoke laying over northern Mendocino. [Photo taken from the Harris area by Natasha Carrico.]

Residents near the fire have been singing praises of the crews here to fight the expanding blaze. “There are signs saying, “Thank you, Fire Fighters,” all over Laytonville,” said one resident. Big Bend Lodge posted the following story:

…John was beginning to clear brush up behind the Honeymoon shed… when the fire crew began to return from a 12 hour day across the river. As they passed, they saw John in the thick brush with his chainsaw and asked if he needed any help. Before he could even answer the hill was covered in yellow jackets, cutting brush and hauling it into piles on the dry riverbed. Within 30 minutes the hill was clear. These guys and gals are amazing!

A HUGE shout out to the fire crews and their families! We are deeply grateful and in awe of all that you do.

Inmate hand crews chat between shifts. On Friday, five inmates were medivacked out of the area following an incident where the men were burned.[Photo by Kim Sallaway. Follow him on Facebook here.]

Ironically, plans for a fundraiser for the Leggett Valley Fire Department had to be scrapped because of the Lodge Fire. (See image of a poster for the event on the left.)

The annual Mountain Folk Festival hosted at Tan Oak Park was cancelled. (Though plans may be revived once the Lodge Fire is under control.)

Those wishing to help the Leggett firefighters can drop off monetary donations at Redwood Mercantile. “We have a jug there,” explained Melissa Rosenthal. Or a check can be sent to The Leggett Valley Fire Protection District, P.O. Box 190, Leggett, CA 95585.

There is also a meeting for the VFD this Wednesday, August 13 at the volunteer fire department.

Previously on the Redheaded Blackbelt:


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