[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

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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):

Ranch Fire Evacuation Map

River Fire Evacuation Map from the Mendocino County Sheriff (To view details either zoom or click on the image for a downloadable pdf file)

Evacuation Map

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)

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14 comments

  • Kym
    Thanks for the “night-owl work”. The lights dimmed drastically here in Benbow @10:30. The dimming was accompanied by a low 60 cycle growling noise. I was concerned that there might be a local fire happening so I have not been sleeping well, (Too many years as a first responder has a tendency to keep a person awake at night when things are going to hell all around us.) So, I did what everybody does, I looked it up on “kym Kemp’s”. Thanks for setting my mind at ease.

    Thank you for taking care of our community and the people around us. You are our forever hero!

    • Ernie…what was that sound? There was another one very early this am. In fact, we hear that loud growling regularly- maybe 6-7 times a year at least. We hear trees that fall, a couple every year, and that’s a totally different sound.

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      Was the growling perhaps the sound of motors running at low-amperage and struggling, like freezers and ‘fridges? Bad for the motors if I’m right. Classic “brown-out.”

  • Alt Right For Life

    I guess many will be without power for weeks?

  • Thanks for the great reporting

  • I’d rather be without power than without a home, poor people:<(

  • If the 747 Global Tanker is in use, why aren’t we hearing about it?

    Moonbeam’s focus is on economics rather than life.

    Federal a$$i$tance. FEMA right this way. Commiefornia’s to weak in the knees to get that 747 off the ground.

    I sure hope i’m wrong.

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      The Governor’s focus is on saving lives and property. Announcing the class or designation of various aircraft that may be of interest to you is not necessarily germane toward that end. But of course, nothing he can or will do will assuage your anger and contempt. What the hell are you talking about, anyway? You never learned that good government is an extension of the people’s power united to do together what we can’t do alone, as Lincoln and others have alluded to over the centuries? Another alumnus of Fox News and right-wing media, perhaps? Thanks for nothing. We’ll take it from here.

      BTW, Gov. Jerry Brown is a way better human being (way, way better) and dedicated, experienced public servant than the braying, clueless, narcissist in the White House.

      • Another fishwife

        Well said!

      • Too bad that the braying narcissist was actually elected to keep the so called better human beings from crapping on the rest of us in their jackbooted bullying march to the sea of failed utopias that only make life worse. If these Crusaders for Causes were not so nasty themselves, Trump would only be an aging playboy in New York.

        The better choice is not a Mao or PolPot trying to brutalize humanity into their own fantasies but is a civil discourse in which the Nazis of Niceties shut the heck up long enough to listen and understand and accept that having a different vision is not an excuse for thug tactics. That it is not all about them.

        No. You don’t get to shove the blame all on Trump anymore than any bully gets to blame the people who finally gives him a bloody nose in return. You may hate but know you are equally hated by those who do not see you as one wit better than those you oppose.

  • The power dropped in Redway at about 10:30 pm. It was a strange kind of power outage where some appliances stayed on and some went off. Some of the lights dimmed. The TV stayed on, the oven clock and others went off. I wasn’t aware of any sound. I am on high alert, have packed certain precious things and important paperwork, and have printed out a list that was posted on Facebook by a victim of the fire last summer. It could all happen so quickly. The two young children who perished in Redding were in a situation where the fire spread so rapidly the grandmother was unable to get them out. Meanwhile the grandfather was at the store getting supplies. What a terrible tragedy. I’ll send you that list, Kym. Be safe everyone and massive gratitude to all the firefighters and support people, the Red Cross etc. Don’t be complacent, it could happen anywhere, so be prepared. Thank you Kym for the awesome coverage as usual.

  • Your coverage is so helpful. We are back with power and thankful.

  • As for Jerry Brown….I sure wish that 100 million for a train to no where had gone into Cal Fire, water storage, and roads.

    The water bonds didn’t seem to do what the people voted for either.

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