[UPDATE 6:46 p.m.] Grade Fire Cools Down

Map of the Grade Fire from Cal Fire.

Map of the Grade Fire from Cal Fire last night.

Yesterday, crews held the Grade Fire to 900 acres. As of last night, the fire was listed as 30% contained. Over 400 people are working to contain the blaze that started as a vehicle fire on July 16.

Though at first the fire swept swiftly through the area threatening multiple structures and sending residents scrambling from their homes as evacuation orders went out, cooler temperatures and rising humidity overnight allowed crews to push in fire lines to contain the flames.

Yesterday, crews had to be pulled off the fire to deal with another blaze, the Range Fire, that broke out off Cow Mountain near Ukiah. As of this morning, Cal Fire states, that fire is now 20 acres and 45% contained.

Last night the plan was to have crews on the Grade Fire working to “extinguish interior spots and strengthen control lines,” according to Cal Fire’s Mendocino Unit.

UPDATE 8 a.m.: Wildfires Near Me reports that the Grade Fire is 45% contained.

UPDATE 8:40 a.m.: Cal Fire’s Mendocino Unit tweeted, “#MEUGradeFire Update: 900 acres with 65% containment.”

UPDATE 11:42 a.m.: Press release from Cal Fire:

Wildland Fire Investigators with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) Mendocino Unit determined that a vehicle fire on Highway 101, milepost maker 37, was the cause of the 900 acre Grade Fire. The cause of the vehicle fire still remains under investigation.

The fire was started on July 16, 2017, 2:48 PM, and was caused when a vehicle pulled to the side of the highway. The vehicle quickly became fully engulfed in flames which quickly spread into the tall dry grass and nearby brush.

Vehicles are a common cause of fires along roads and highways. CAL FIRE encourages residents to be aware and take precautions to prevent wildfires. The following tips can assist in reducing the threat of causing a fire when operating vehicles:

  • Prior to operating a vehicle, ensure all tires are properly inflated, brakes are in good working condition and the vehicle is well maintained.

  • If towing a trailer make certain all tow chains and secure.

  • Check your vehicle gauges frequently.

  • Never drive or park a vehicle in tall, dead grass.

Any person who accidently starts a wildfire can be held liable for the fire suppression cost.

For additional information on how to create Defensible Space, as well as tips to prevent wildfires, visit www.ReadyForWi ldfire.org.

UPDATE 6:46 p.m.: Cal Fire’s Mendocino unit said, “900 acres 85% contained.”
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