[UPDATE 7:18 p.m. 101 Open] Fire Closes Hwy 101 North of Laytonville

By David Jeffreys

Smoke seen from Laytonville [Photo by a reader]

According to the California Highway Patrol Incident page, a fire is burning north of Laytonville and south of Camp WinnaRainbow. Emergency personnel closed Hwy 101 at 2:21 p.m. as flames spread to both sides of the road.

As of 2:29 p.m.It is burning about 10 to 20 acres, according to the Incident Commander.

MendocinoSportsPlus reports,

The Laytonville Fire Department and CalFire ground, air & inmate assets are responding to a vegetation fire off US-101. A first responder arriving at the scene reported a “half-acre moderate rate of spread into the timber…” It is being referred to as the @Rough Incident.” …. At 2:19 pm, a first responder said, “it’s about an acre now with spotting ahead of the fire. Keep the resources coming.”

UPDATE 2:53 p.m.: According to the scanner, the Incident Commander is looking for help to provide structure defence to three homes in the area.

UPDATE 3 p.m.: The fire is within 100 feet of the three homes, according to the CHP Incident page.

Rough fire smoke and traffic backup

Rough Fire [Photo by David Jeffreys]

UPDATE 3:25 p.m.: A reader sends us these two photos showing the column of smoke rising and…a burned leaf that traveled two miles towards him.

ruff fire burned leaf

Burned leaf from the Ruff Fire. It traveled two miles according to the reader who sent us this photo

Smoke from the Ruff fire sent from a reader

Smoke from the Ruff Fire. [Photo from a fire north of Laytonville]

UPDATE 3:45 p.m.: Local resident Leslie Gravier sends this photo showing aircraft dropping pink retardant on the fire. MVUFirePhotographer, a senior member at WildlandFire.com which is an excellent source of information frequented by firefighters, reports, “…fire is 40-45 acres with potential for 100.”

Traffic backed up as aircraft drops retardant on the fire. [Photo by Leslie Gravier]

Traffic backed up as aircraft drops retardant on the fire. [Photo by Leslie Gravier]

UPDATE 4:12 p.m.: A windshift shows the fire heading east from Hwy 101, according to the reader who sent this photo.
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UPDATE 4:45 p.m.: According to readers, the road opened. This isn’t official yet. But we have heard that some aircraft is being pulled from the fire.

UPDATE 4:55 p.m.: All lanes of 101 now open, according the California Highway Patrol Incident page.

UPDATE 5:26 p.m.: For a story of how one home was saved, click here.

UPDATE 7:18 p.m.: As of 6;45 p.m., Cal Fire reports, the fire is 50 acres and 40% contained.

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66 comments

  • We are approaching this fire from the south right now. A big smoke column

  • Does anyone know if the road will reopen anytime soon?

  • They are saying 3 hour wait

  • Firefighters now heading out Huntsman Lane. Looks like the fire is spreading to the east. A gusty breeze coming in from the ocean. Sheriff and fire vehicles leaving the fire site along the corridor & heading east. 3 trucks with convict line crews just arriving. Smoke is suddenly getting dark at the center of the column, which is easy of the road and stretching east with the breeze. Another truck, an 18 wheeler hauling a big bulldozer. 2 big planes. This fire is being fought on 3 fronts: the 101 corridor with line crews, Huntsman to the east with water tankers; from the air with 2 bombers & a spotter. We’re about an 8th of a mile north of the Huntsman intersection, been here 40 minutes, and the traffic stretches out of sight back toward and probably into Laytonville. Slurry bombers ripping the air and sirens screaming up the roads.

    • Thank you for the very clear description.

    • Thank you for the description. We live on ten mile creek road. Very scary for our neighbors. Do you know if there is a way to help?

    • The pic above shows the exit to Woodman Canyon Road and Huntsman is just south of that. You sure you mean Huntsman?

    • Heading out Huntsman? Like they are going up Fox Rock? Or county Road 307 and Woodman Canyon Rd?

      • they could be on any one of those rds trying too get above and in front of the fire

        • The fire isn’t that far east to use any of those, they’d surely be using Woodman Canyon’s access, County Road 307 is technically accurate, and it dead ends at 101 behind a guardrail, which is where it appeared to have started in my opinion.

    • Ex srripper turned teacher

      Wow, wonderful description.
      You must be the only person in laytonville that isn’t s stoned out of their minds.

    • Dark smoke usually means something manmade. Unless it’s lake County, then it’s greasebrush.

      • Is “grease brush” what we call “coyote brush” down here? If so, it melts before it burns. And in doing so, create its own fire-retardent. Curious, af

        • Humboldt ranchers refer to it as nigger brush.. Never did understand why.

          • We really did not need to read or see that comment. Kym? Could that be removed?

            • It’s true. They did call it that. Do we need to erase history? He is not being derogatory or slandering a race. He’s just stating that the local ranchers used to use a derogatory name. When I was a kid we used to call a certain kind of nut “nigger toes.” It was appalling. If I did refer to them as nigger toes now, I would hope someone would call me on it. HOWEVER, merely stating that something used to have a derogatory name is not in itself an offense.

              • Back about 1955 I heard a man call the nuts that. That man was never invited back to our home. Dad made a point of it and telling me why. Not everybody used that term.

                • No, that was not “we” as in everybody but “we” as in the folks that I knew.

                • It is an ugly word and Kym is endorsing its use. Nuff said. I guess

                • It is an ugly word. You are right there. However, I am not endorsing calling someone “nigger.” I am saying it is a word that was used at one time to describe a certain type of bush.

                  For Harry Potter fans: Refusing to say Voldemort’s name simply gives him more power. It’s the same with refusing to simply state that something used to be done and now we don’t do it because we know better. Don’t give evil power by refusing to name it.

  • Bless you Kym for ALL THAT YOU DO… in keeping an Oregon mom & Nan up-to-date & fairly sane on a daily basis.

    ❤️Especially down to the Laytonville, Dos Rios, Covelo & Mina areas.

    This fire today, North of Laytonville… do you have any present/anticipated wind speeds and directions?

    Thank you sooo much!

    **Just read “onlooker’s” comments

  • I am up fox rock and haven’t heard any traffic up here, must just be going up woodman for now.

  • Winds sse at 7 mph

  • My daughter and son in law on the way home to Eureka and are stuck in the stopped traffic.

  • Stay on “Ruff Fire” on CalFire…good updated maps and information. Be safe, all! af

    • CalFire is being slow at giving information on this fire. No maps, no number of firefighters, no amount of equipment. No information on evacuation centers.

  • When I was a child growing up in Laytonville that area was known as “Warren’s Flat” it was named after Warren Woodruff who owned it. I’m assuming that the name “Ruff Fire” must be some construation of his last name.

  • Black Leaves Matter

  • two lanes open south and one north

  • Just heard they’re evacuating Woodman Canyon.

  • Here to help brother

    Just heard the Hog Farm will be used as the evacuation center. They will provide all the drugs necessary to help you disconnect from the reality of your home burning down.

  • Laytonville resident

    How does one find out about an evacuation in their neighborhood? Does someone go door to door, or gate to gate?

    • Reverse 911 calls, if you have a landline, if you have cellular I think you can register to be called. Best bet would be to check the Cal Fire incident page and click on more info. You may even want to call Cal Fire or the sheriffs department.

      The view of the fire, the smoke and air traffic, is looking promising 🙂 Hopefully there will be no evacuations necessary! Thank you to all the wonderful personnel who responded to this “Ruff” fire!!!

    • Other counties use CaHAN and/or everbridge for emergency alerts. I believe Mendo does also..https://member.everbridge.net/index/892807736722865#/login

  • Laytonville resident

    Thanks Curious for the info, and a big thanks to all the firefighters for your hard work.

  • It appears that the fire is contained or nearly so at 40-100 acres. Tomorrow they will assess. Crews will stay on hot spots all night but they are letting folks back into the back country. My sis and her husband are on their way home. Heavy equipment guys were on the fire before most of the first responders got there. Thank all for the efforts. Could have been much worse.

  • Didn’t know there was a fire…been inside all day working on computers…glad it didn’t race uphill my direction…

    I should turn my scanner on more often…I did step outside to see the air attack folks leave just before sunset…

  • Giving thanks courageous and angelic dedicated 🔥 crews have succeeded in putting out most of the fire thus helping fellow Laytonville-ians sleep 💤 little better tonight. Condolences to the family whom lost their property in the fire. Let us know if we can be of any help. & Rest in Peace Kenny Fisher! Justice now! Pray no others fall victims to c. W. Reynolds wrath of fury!

  • Dyerville Loop is Not Alderpoint

    Ernie? Dark smoke in the middle of the column? Isnt that actually a sign of rate of change in combustion? When the structure is burning under the center of the column and it riiiiy gets ripping does the plume color change or does it tend to stay dark for lack of oxygen until the fuel is consumed? or is this a valid question?I guess there could be so many variables .hmmmmmm. Im a curious whannabe fire fighter.

  • Can anyone explain this:
    The fire was called in a around 8am but then at 8:30 all crews responding were canceled. Then the fire ballooned to 50 acres

  • Hi this is Joe from Redding I know a lot of those names I used to live there and now the People by the fire good comments it was funny LOL with a cat fight going on haha

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