[UPDATE 12 p.m.] Mendocino Sheriff Declares State of Emergency, Approximately 10,000 Acres Burned, 0% Containment, Approximately 80 Structures Gone

NOAA's Satellite image shows smoke as of 10 a.m. Pouring off fires

NOAA’s Satellite image shows smoke pouring off fires as of 10 a.m.

Overnight, a fire started in Potter Valley. Wind whipped the fire pushing it over the homes of sleeping families. Emergency personnel and neighbors called and went door to door warning people. At least one person is dead. Scanner reports indicate more were killed. Another fire, possibly birthed by the Potter Fire, began in Redwood Valley. They are now being considered one incident, the Redwood Complex, which totals approximately 10,000 acres, and there is 0% containment. The Mendocino Sheriff’s Office has declared a State of Emergency in Mendocino County.

So far one fatality has been confirmed. More deaths were reported on the scanner but haven’t yet been confirmed. There have been at least two serious injurious, and numerous minor injuries including a firefighter who was sent to the hospital with possible heat and smoke issues.

Cal Fire is reporting that approximately 80 structures have been destroyed.

High winds and dry weather continue to whip the flames fast and far. Though winds are expected to decrease, the dry weather is expected to continue. The fire though is only one of many which attacked California during the night. Many other areas from Sonoma County to Butte County are beset and government resources are stretched tightly.

Evacuations as of 11:10 a.m. include: Areas of Potter Valley, the community of Redwood Valley and Golden Rule. There is NO evacuation in Willits as of 11:25 a.m. in spite of rumors.

Evacuation Information and other Important Facts:

  • Anyone evacuating with animals can take them to the Ukiah Fairgrounds
  • The Mendocino Sheriff’s Department tweeted that shelters are open for fire evacuees. Those south of fire go to Ukiah High School. Those north of the fire go to Willits Community Center.
  • As of 4:32 a.m., The Mendocino Sheriff’s Department just posted on Facebook, “Highway 101 is closed from Uva Drive North to Ridgewood Grade. All Redwood Valley south of School Way Circle to Highway 20 and east to Horshoe Circle is under EVACUATION WARNING. An evacuation warning means you need to be ready to move out at a moment’s notice – prepare animals, important papers, medicines & other necessities.”
  • Mendocino Sheriff states, “Call center for fire information is now open. Do not call 9-1-1 unless you have an emergency.Fire information numbers:(707) 467-6428
    (707) 467-2518
    (707) 467-6446″
  • According to the CHP, Hwy 101 between Uva Drive and the Willits Bypass is closed.

UPDATE 11:36 a.m.: Caltrans posted these images of fire burning alongside 101 south of Willits. Click on each image to enlarge it:

UPDATE 12 p.m.: The Mendocino Voice has more information here.

More Information on Major Fire Incident Stories From Oct 9:


  • Omg prayers for northern California be safe

  • So fast. I hope that people and their animals get out safely.

  • I have been trying to find out if the Bird Rescue Center off Chanate Rd, is safe. If they had to evacuate, were they able to save the birds

  • I don’t understand Kym. What is starting these fires? I don’t mean to sound like a dodo. I know a flipped cig., campfire, or the sun hitting a piece of metal can do it, or even a car back firing but what is causing these fires? Inquiring minds need to know.

    • If i may, theres…
      A spark and wind gusts. Simple as that.
      Downed power lines from heavy wind.
      Probably at least one arson.
      Even a glass jar left out in a dry field can act like a magnifying glass.
      Trailer chains dragging on asphalt. Using a power tool outside that can create a spark.
      Someone setting off fireworks.
      Lit cig thrown out the car window.
      Etc etc etc

      The bigger question is why do we not have enough resources to tackle these things?

      • $$$$$$$ Not Enough $$$$ Given to State and Local Fire Fighters to keep up with the demand for service. Our population has grown but CAL FIRE and local government has not been given the $$$ by the legislature to add fire stations, air tanker and helicopters. Also PG&E not having enough resources out tending to the power lines in the rural area. Weather changes have all created a perfect storm.

        • Not enough given? There is egregious monetary waste in Cal Fire, don’t fool yourself. Cal Fire should be overhauled for their pork barrel spending.

        • the misadventures of bunjee

          Not enough? Better check that. CalFire has been robbed of funds for years to pay for other pet projects. Even the debatable CalFire “fee” isn’t going to where it’s supposed to be. Trust me, we’re paying for it. It’s not being appropriated properly and we don’t get any say in that. Can’t say “pork barrel spending” when there are other pigs eating the slop.

          • Cal fire are the ones to hurry and put out the fires but once the feds take over watch out because they will burn forever and the money pot goes on forever.

    • We don’t know for sure BUT there were very high winds and very dry conditions. When trees or branches fell into lines, the resulting sparks could have caused fires. However this is just speculation.

      • NOAA declared a Fire Weather Watch yesterday for single digit humidities and gusty winds. Now, there is a Red Flag Warning for the same. Good luck to everyone.

      • From your page, UPDATE 11:31 A.M… On 10-09-2017 at 1:10 AM a Sergeant from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office was on routine patrol in the area of Hawn Creek Road in Potter Valley, California. During this time there was severe wind gusts which downed trees and power lines in this area of the valley. Shortly thereafter the Sergeant witnessed a ground fire which quickly traveled to the west towards Redwood Valley.

    • Well the blue lake fire yesterday was sparkes from a downed power line. High winds and dried brush is never a good thing. I am still amased at how fast and how well they did to control that fire. I have seen less air support on battle fields rest assured the fire fighters are doing everything in their power with the resorces they have. Has been a crazy year for fires , but thankfully with the winter we had there was still water around, it could have been lots worse

    • The high winds caused power lines to arc, which means sparks in dry grass.

    • The potter valley fire was started by power lines that were down from strong wind

  • Be extra careful out there, folks. If you’re operating power equipment, make sure you have fire tools and water close by.

  • Looks like hundreds if not over a thousand homes burned in santa rosa fire.

  • The smoke has arrived in SoHum!

  • Thanks Kym for yur excellent service to our community, you and the Mendo Voice are the only news organizations doing their job of keeping us informed and alerted. Both Willits News and Willits Weekly have been both uninforming with next to zero information or updates as to what is happening, so it goes for fuzzy feel good news sources who only seem to serve as propaganda machines for the powers that be. What would we do without independent media like Mendo Voice and Redhead Blackbelt? Do these other news groups only care about fuzzy feel good articles, propaganda and advertising $$$$? Thanks again Kym! Thanks for the passion and extra effort you put into your media site and keeping the community informed and safe!

  • Any new updates yet?

  • I completely agree with Mendo Native, Kym you are a blessing to the communities.

  • Thankyou kymkemp, for keeping people informed; the national news seems to care about football, or the latest Hollywood gossip.

    PG&e has enough resources to tend downed power lines, it takes in billions in profit. There is enough money to fight the fires, if our government would put more money into calfire, etc; its greed that’s limiting the resources.

    California handled fires before, more people means more revenue from taxes.

    One of the strongest and most powerful nations in the world should be able to put out some fires.

    Gov. brown could have these fires stopped tomorrow; that’s his job.

    • And begin to put power lines underground. It’s cheap to string them along from pole to pole in comparison to putting them underground but look at the price people have to pay.

      • the misadventures of bunjee

        We have a lot of slides up here. Those will wreck fiber lines just as a downed pole will too. They actually are longer as they have to follow each and every curve of a road.

    • the misadventures of bunjee

      And money grows on trees. You seem to think everything is just a magical finger snap to fix and the state has an unlimited piggy bank. What a fantasy world you live in.

  • family-father..uncles cousins in Redwood Valley..no contact service..only one confirmed to be safe..lost contact ability at 1pm with father..attempts to assist him met with arrest threats when someone overheard my intent to get to him.. confirmed fatality is teenage son of close friend..parents at SF burn center…frustration understates the mood!

  • Thanks Kym for all your hard work and dedication.
    I’m still boycotting outpost for trowing the community under the bus,over our cannabis applications.

  • Displaced resident

    Ash has begun to fall in laytonville.

  • Some witnesses at 5 am claim several fires in Santa Rosa were arson.

  • the misadventures of bunjee

    I grabbed the latest MODIS imagery for y’all. Yeesh. Pick a spot. It’s probably already on fire.

  • Absolutely heartbreaking I’m praying for.everyone involved with these devastating fires🙏🙏💔

  • In need of help Trinity county kidnapped my kids Greg Collen 530 228 1044

  • KSRO 1350 AM/103.5 FM radio has a live feed right now with updates from many agencies, government representatives, CalFire, CHP etc from Mendo, Sonoma, Napa and Lake counties.

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