The Mendocino Complex: Still Burning Hot and Fast

Fire burns slowly down the hill north of the town of Upper Lake.

Fire burns slowly down the hill north of the town of Upper Lake last night.[Photo by Mark McKenna]

Firefighters managed to corral some of the Mendocino Complex and favorable winds helped protect the communities around the west end of Clear Lake, but both fires, the Ranch to the north and the River to the south, are still large and growing. Together they now total 90,912 acres and are still only 24% contained.

Cal Fire reports, “Today fire personnel will continue to work on containment lines, fighting the fire directly when access and conditions permit along with building [contingency] lines ahead of the fire front.”

They are concerned with winds this afternoon causing spot fires to jump over lines.

For the latest on evacuations and road closures, check here.

The Plan:

Officers attend a morning briefing today.

Officers attend a morning briefing today. [Photo from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office]

For the Ranch Fire, firefighters did a great job yesterday holding the fire at Hwy 20 (see the black containment lines along it on the Map section below). The fire is estimated to be at 59,014 acres with 15% containment. The containment is all to the southwest. The fire pushed hard to the northeast making a run towards Windy Ridge.

It also jumped over Dewell Road and firefighters will be working today to keep it north and west of Upper Lake.

This video posted by Cal Fire yesterday before the updated acreage shows the battle to save homes.

For the River Fire, like yesterday crews will try to keep the fire from extending east into Lakeport and Finley. Favorable winds pushing to the north helped them keep the flames from those towns before and they hope to keep that momentum.  Firefighters will continue to try and keep the fire west and south of State Route 29. Evacuation orders have been lifted from Kelseyville and Finley.

The Weather:

Hot and dry again today but a little less so than they have been. Expect winds from the northwest, especially this afternoon and evening, according to Cal Fire. These are conditions that make it tough for firefighters to take control of the flames. However, an overnight slight rise in humidity should help again tonight as it did last night.

The Roads:

Hwy 20 and 175 are closed with no estimated time of reopening. Though with containment lines holding solid along 20, there is hope for reopening. Keep checking in for updates if you need to get through.

Many smaller roads are closed also. Check Cal Fire for the latest but be aware that conditions are changing fast on the frontlines.


  • 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 Operations Map

    River Operations 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 KMZ Map


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Earlier Chapters:



  • Kym ……You have the best updates ever…Thank You

  • Love the format of your updates, easy and clear to read.
    You are helping so many, thank you!!!!

  • A big THANK YOU to all the hot, exhausted fire fighters trying to stop these two fires. Be safe.

  • Our prayers go out to everyone involved with fire fighting as well as safe civilians.
    Material things can be replaced but lives matter. Praying for it to be 100% contained n controlled.

  • Kudos to ya, Kym! Thank you so much for putting it all together.

    Some FB grps to check out as well: Mendocino County Fires, Mendo-Lake Firestorm-Active, Firestorm Survival 101 (several helpful guides to deal with pre-post evacuation, post fire damage), , and for the region and out of State NorCal Fireweather. Please note that the first two have limited active fire photos- I get so triggered! I stick to maps etc.

    For those who want to dive deeper, Lake County Public Scanner and The 411 Lake County have threads of live scanner chatter- I can’t understand it when I try to listen (broadcastify), so these ladies are ON IT.

  • Kym.. Do you have any info on the Eel fire east of Covelo… All I get from Cal-Fire site is the same info as last night. When you click on the “more info” link it just takes you to their Twitter feed about the Ranch& River fires….

  • Taurusballzhoff

    Many thanks again to the RHBB staff members and Kym Kemp, for the updates!

  • Bravo firefighters for holding the Ranch fire at highway 20! Way to go!

  • A BIG THANK YOU! Our farm property is right near the fire line in Upper Lake but so far OK. Our house, where we actually live, is a couple miles outside the mandatory evac line in advisory evac area. Smoke and heat are terrible, and so is the frustration of being unable to do more. One of us (OK, me) has bailed out and is staying with family in the Bay Area, but the other one is staunchly standing by at home. Cat is with me. Considering how much of Lake Co. has burned in the last 3 years, we have been incredibly lucky.
    This is NOT A CONSPIRACY, unless it’s a conspiracy of every human being dependent upon fossil fuel. We DO have choices but it’s so hard. I wouldn’t be here without my car, and the firefighters would not be able to do what they’re doing without fossil fuel. Those big tanker helicopters are an immense help and they must burn huge amounts of petro products. We have done this to ourselves.

  • Praise be the firefighters. The couple dozen chunky white guys waiting for free donuts, I’m not so sure.

  • Fossil fuel, climate boogie, and the vax-a-nation fanatics usually do group, and all totaled, equal an open secret conspiracy.

    What happens when CA is in serious debt and lost priority aid from the FED gov due to sanctuary status (illegal)?
    Light fires.
    Declare State of Emergency and req billions from FED.
    Why did POTUS reject in the past?
    Sick people!
    The more you know

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