[UPDATE 2:57 p.m.] The Mendocino Complex: Nearly 75,000 Acres Burned, 12% Contained [Maps, Photos]

Sunset on the Mendocino Complex July 30

Last night’s sunset on the Mendocino Complex taken from near Clearlake. [Photo by Jeff Henderson of J&B Photography]

Both claws of the Mendocino Complex continued to push south and east pinching Clear Lake and its beachfront communities tighter yesterday. Thousands of residents have fled in front of the flames from the Ranch Fire to the northwest of Clear Lake and the River Fire which is to the southwest. New evacuations rolled in yesterday for the communities at the southwest end of the lake.

According to Cal Fire, “The fire burned actively throughout the night.” Humidity didn’t rise enough to cool the flames and the battle continued through the dark and will be fierce today as “long distance spotting” continues to be a challenge, according to the agency.

For information on evacuations and road closures go here.

The Plan:

For the Ranch Fire, firefighters need to keep the fire from jumping Hwy 20 and heading towards the more densely populated Clear Lake communities. Yesterday, the fire pushed down to Hwy 20 and even slopped over around Saratoga Springs Road and Scotts Creek Drive.

The Ranch Fire pushed south and east bumping into Hwy 20 and embedding itself in the rugged mountain area north of Nice and Upper Lake.

The Ranch Fire pushed south and east bumping into Hwy 20 and embedding itself in the rugged mountain area north of Nice and Upper Lake.

For the River Fire, crews will try to keep the fire from extending east into Lakeport and Finley.  Firefighters will continue to try and keep the fire west of State Route 29.

The River Fire tried a run around firefighters by leaping over state Route

The River Fire tried a run around firefighters by leaping over State Route 175 and heading across fields in an attempt to reach Finley and beyond.

The Weather:

Hot and dry again today and for the next few days. Expect breezy weather, too. These are conditions that make it tough for firefighters to take control of the flames. However, overnight humidity should rise a little which will help cool the fire after dark and give crews some assistance.

The Roads:

Looking east on Hwy 20 towards the Mendocino Complex.

Looking east on Hwy 20 towards the Mendocino Complex. [Crop of a photo by the Mendocino Sheriff’s Office]

Hwy 20 and 175 are closed with no estimated time of reopening. Many smaller roads are closed also. Check Cal Fire for the latest but be aware that conditions are changing fast on the frontlines.

According to Caltrans,

Map by Caltrans showing road closures.

Map by Caltrans showing road closures.

MENDOCINO COMPLEX FIRE ROAD CLOSURES-
Monday 7/30/18:

Highway 20- Closed from 5 miles east of Hwy 101 junction to Hwy 29 junction.

Highway 175- Closed from Hopland- Hwy 101 junction to Mathews Road at Hwy 29 junction.

Highway 29- Closed from Highland Springs Road, Hwy 175 junction to Potter Road at the Hwy 20 junction.

Weather conditions will continue to challenge fire crews today. Hot, dry and windy conditions are forecasted with temps in the 100s and winds with gusts up to 20 mph.

These road closures may change based on the changing fire conditions. For the latest road infohttp://quickmap.dot.ca.gov/

The MAPS:

  • Ranch Operations Map –to see details either zoom or click on the map and download a pdf.
Ranch Operations Map

Ranch Operations Map

  • River Operations Map –to see details either zoom or click on the map and download a pdf.
    River Map 31

    River Map

  • KMZ Map–Zoom for detail or for 3D imagery, click on the map and download a file that connects with your Google Earth program.
    Mendocino Complex

    Heat map created from information collected at 9:10 p.m.

UPDATE 8:28 a.m.: Video from last night by Matthew Henderson, a well-known fire photographer. (Follow him for further information.)

UPDATE 9:18 a.m.: Resources from the Mendocino County Sheriff:

UPDATE 2:57 p.m.: Cal Fire announced,

Evacuation orders have been lifted and residents may return to the following areas:
• Potter Valley Community
The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has reduced the Evacuation Order to an
Evacuation Warning in the following areas:
• Potter Valley Community; All areas north of Highway CA – 20, east of East Side Potter
Valley Road, south of Burris Lane, and west of the fire perimeter, including Burris Lane
and MeWhinney Creek.
The Evacuation Order for Potter Valley including Pine Avenue and Mid Mountain remains in
effect.

Earlier Chapters:

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