[UPDATE 9:28 p.m.] The Grade Fire: What’s Happening With the Blaze Burning South of Willits?

bomber dropping retardant

[Photo provided by MendocinoMamma]

Yesterday, about 2:45 p.m., a truck pulling a trailer caught fire about five miles south of Willits near mile marker 37 along Hwy 101. The flames quickly consumed the vehicle and jumped into the nearby grassy hillside. As of 6:15 a.m., the latest information from Cal Fire reported that the Grade Fire had consumed 900 acres and was only 10% contained. No structures were lost. Four hundred and fifty personnel are working on it.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department issued a statement about 11:37 p.m. stating that the “[e]vacuation Order for Baker Subdivision is still in effect. The advisory for the area west of West Road, from Tomki to State Street HAS BEEN LIFTED.”

Cal Fire’s Mendocino unit reports that evacuees can call Mendocino’s Health & Human Services at (707) 972-7230 for information about shelter.

Cal Trans shows Hwy 101 as clear in both directions through the area.

UPDATE 8:01 a.m.: The Mendocino Sheriff’s Office reports, “The only area under evacuation is the Baker Creek Subdivision. Sheriff Allman is stressing to the public that it is safe for residents to return home if they are not in the Baker Creek Subdivision.”

UPDATE 9:07 a.m.: Cal Fire Mendocino tweeted, “Update: fire remains at 900 acres with an increase in containment to 25%. No evacuations are currently in place.”

UPDATE 10:47 a.m.: Cal Fire Mendocino tweeted a correction,”[E]vacuation warning remains in place for the Baker Creek Sub-division”

UPDATE 12:52 p.m.: Tweets coming from Mendocino Cal Fire sound upbeat. The latest states, “[C]rews will continue to improve control lines while extinguishing interior hot spots throughout the day.” This indicates that firefighters are not needing to focus on stopping the fire’s spread but can mop up areas burning within the fire lines.

UPDATE 9:28 p.m.: #GradeFire [update] northwest of Redwood Valley (Mendocino County) is now 900 acres and 30% contained.




  • Diesel DRW - Curb Weight 7762 lbs

    Thanks to the first-responders and to all the fire crews! Be safe up there!

  • Kym, Thanks for the coverage on this fire!

  • I saw videos of the truck and trailer fire aftermath on my Facebook feed this morning by people who were driving and shooting video with their cellphones. In one video you can tell they were hiding their cellphone while driving past a first responder directing traffic.

    Please people, for everyone’s safety, put down the cellphone while driving!

  • I was concerned I wasn’t going to get home from the city, but all’s well with101. Thank you firefighters!!

  • Thanks for all you do to keep others safe.. stay safe yourselves.. brave firefighters….knew thier had to be a fire somewhere.. while leaving Healdsburg yesterday and seeing the sky in rear view mirror.

  • Wow was half expecting to see the fire had expanded this morning. Great work to all involved!
    At least in laytonville area the underground remnants of the lake that once existed at what is now black oak ranch pulls in overnite moisture.
    Condolences to the family who lost their truck and trailer and im assuming a lot of their possessions. Please let the community know how we can help them.

  • I have family out in the “alert area” and am so thankful to Cal Fire and all the other fire fighters who have responded to this fire. What a hard job in this alful heat we’ve been having.

  • To our fire fighters thanks again for your service in putting out this fire and to our highway patrol for their assistance let us keep everyone in our prayers and thoughts especially the owners whose truck and trailer was burnt

  • Pulled out of Lake Leonard Reserve yesterday at about 4:30pm and found 5 cal fire trucks lined up at the end of the road, huge plumes of smoke coming from a not so distant hill. Expected to see news of a wildly expanded fire today – so glad to see that is not the case.

    Cheers to Cal Fire, Mendocino Fire and all the trucks and firefighters that responded. You guys are heros.


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