[UPDATE 12 a.m.: PG&E Says 50,000 Out in Mendocino County Alone] Thousands Without Electricity in Lake and Mendocino County as Major Wildfires Rage
At about 10:25 p.m., thousands of PG&E customers lost power across both Mendocino and Lake Counties. Two wildfires–the River Fire that started near Hopland yesterday (9000 acres) and the Ranch Fire that started near Potter Valley yesterday (5000 acres)–are burning in both counties. They are now being called the Mendocino Complex.
At this point, PG&E has not released information about the outage. The Ukiah Police Department sent out a Nixle alert stating, “The power is out due to the fires. Unknown estimated return time. Please use 911 for emergencies only.”
The Mendocino Voice which has been doing excellent coverage of the wildfires. Click here for more information.
The Northern California Geographic Coordination stated,
CA-MEU Mendocino Complex 14,000 acres 10% contained, (comprised of both the River and Ranch incidents). CAL FIRE IMT-2 (Kavanaugh) is assigned to the incident. Current threats include commercial and residential properties in several communities including the Lake County Seat and Agriculture packing, processing,and production facilities. There is also a threat to communications and power infrastructure that support Lake and Mendocino Counties. Major transportation routes and Lake County jail and Sutter Lakeside Hospital.
River Fire: 9,000 acres grass and brush. Fire is located in steep inaccessable terrain, with extreme fire behavior and long range spotting. Numerous structures continue to be threatened with 2 confirmed destroyed. Additonal threats include high voltage powerlines, commercial wineries, BLM Cow Mountain Recreation Area, UC Hopland Research and Extension Center, tribal lands including the Sho Ko Wah Casino. Evacuations in place for unincorporated areas of Lakeport, west of Hwy 29 and north of highland and south Scott Valley
Ranch Fire: 5000 acres oak woodland, brush. Exteme fire behavior with long range spotting observed. Evacuations for Middle Creek, Bachelor Valley and Whittier (Lake Co).There are structures, communication towers and 115kV powerlines threatened.
Earlier today, Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of Emergency for Lake, Mendocino, and Napa Counties: His office stated,
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued an emergency proclamation for Lake, Mendocino and Napa counties due to the effects of the River, Ranch and Steele fires, which have destroyed homes, threatened critical infrastructure and caused the evacuation of residents.
Earlier today, Governor Brown announced that the state has secured a presidential declaration – requested yesterday – providing direct federal assistance to further support the communities impacted by the Carr Fire, following an emergency proclamation issued for Shasta County this week. The Governor has also ordered state flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of two firefighters who died while working on the Carr Fire, and issued emergency proclamations for Riverside and Mariposa counties this week due to fires
Ranch Fire Evacuation Map from the Mendocino County Sheriff (to view details, use your zoom function):
River Fire Evacuation Map from the Mendocino County Sheriff (To view details either zoom or click on the image for a downloadable pdf file)
UPDATE 12 a.m.: A PG&E spokesperson told us that 50,000 customers were without power after there was an unknown failure around 10:30 p.m. They are investigating the cause. She said, “This was not a proactive power shut off.”
UPDATE 7:50 a.m.: More here: Mendocino Complex Devours Almost 25,000 Acres (Maps, Photos)