[UPDATE 12:25 p.m.] Massive Mendocino Complex Now Fifth Largest in California History as It Jumps to Over 250,000 Acres [Maps, Videos, Photos]

The ten nightmarish days of heat, wind, and smoke around Clear Lake have resulted in four different counties–Mendocino, Lake, Colusa, and, last night, Glenn County–being affected by the massive Mendocino Complex. The new acreage added yesterday for a total of 254,982 acres makes it the fifth largest in California history. And the fires are still consuming new ground each day, particularly the Ranch Fire which chewed through about 50,000 acres and more structures since yesterday morning. (See maps below.)

Sixty-seven residences, 62 minor structures, and one multiple residence have been destroyed so far but damage assessment is continuing, according to the Northern California Geographic Coordination Center.

They also said that approximately 21,310 civilians remain evacuated from the area.

Evacuation Map as of August 5 at 9:13 a.m.

Evacuation Map as of August 5 at 9:13 a.m. Click on it to get a pdf and see details or zoom in.

For more on the latest evacuations, evacuation centers, and road closures, go to InciWeb.

Scenes from the Complex by Mark McKenna:

An Altec employee restrings line talked out by the River Fire on Hendricks Road near Lakeport.

A utility worker restrings line talked out by the River Fire on Hendricks Road near Lakeport. [Photo by Mark McKenna]

A burned car and house were not saved from the River Fire burning in Lake County California.

A burned car and house on the River Fire. (This is the home that was burning in yesterday’s article.) [Photo by Mark McKenna]

A firefighter uses a drip torch to start fire as part of a burn out operation on Scott's Valley Road in Lake County California to fight the River Fire.

A firefighter uses a drip torch to start a fire as part of a burn out operation on Scott’s Valley Road.

Los Angeles County Firefighter Zach Kling watches the progress of a burn out operation on Scott's Valley Road in Lake County California to stop the spread of the River Fire.

Los Angeles County Firefighter Zach Kling watches the progress of a burn out operation on Scott’s Valley Road.

Firefighters hose down a tree during a burn out operation on Scott's Valley Road in Lake County California to stop the spread of the River Fire.

Firefighters hose down a tree during a burn out operation on Scott’s Valley Road in Lake County California to stop the spread of the River Fire.

Palo Alto firefighter Manny Macias monitors the growth of a burn out being conducted near a home to help fight The River Fire on Scott's Valley Road in Lake County.

Palo Alto firefighter Manny Macias monitors the growth of a burn out being conducted near a home to help fight The River Fire on Scott’s Valley Road in Lake County.

A Aero-Flite Inc.CL-215-6B11 plane under contract with Cal Fire drops water on a hill above the town of Lucerne in Lake County California.

An Aero-Flite Inc.CL-215-6B11 plane under contract with Cal Fire drops water on a hill above the town of Lucerne.

A DC-10 drops retardant on a hill a move the town of Lucerne to stop the spread of the rapidly expanding Ranch Fire Burning in Lake County California.

A DC-10 drops retardant on a hill near the town of Lucerne to stop the spread of the rapidly expanding Ranch Fire.

A firefighter from Beverly Hills sprays down a house next one burning in Spring Valley.

A firefighter from Beverly Hills sprays down a house next one burning in Spring Valley.

A Spring Valley house is consumed by flames as the Ranch Fire continued to expand westward.

A Spring Valley house is consumed by flames as the Ranch Fire continued to expand westward.

 

 

A Spring Valley house is consumed by flames as the Ranch Fire continued to expand westward.

Behind a fence, a house burns.

A firefighter hoses a burning fence next to a Spring Valley home in Lake County as the Ranch Fire continued to spread.

A firefighter hoses a burning fence next to a Spring Valley home.

A Cal Fire Firefighter rips a burning fence away from a Spring Valley home in Lake County as the Ranch Fire continued to spread. The Sprig Valley, Lake County was hit by the Pawnee Fire earlier this year

A Cal Fire Firefighter rips a burning fence away from a Spring Valley home in Lake County as the Ranch Fire continued to spread. Spring Valley was hit by the Pawnee Fire earlier this year.

The Plan:

A column of smoke column billows up from The Ranch Fire over Upper Lake in Lake County California noon Friday

A column of smoke column billows up from The Ranch Fire over Upper Lake near noon on Friday. [Photo by Mark McKenna]

The Ranch Fire continues rampage south and east.  Cal Fire warns that crews will “continue to be embedded in the communities providing structure protection.” They are trying to starve the fire They have been doing burnoffs around structures to clear out vegetation and reduce fuel so when the Ranch reaches the area it will not have as much plant material to feed its massive appetite.  Cal Fire also said this morning, “The Pillsbury Lake Basin [to the north of the Ranch Fire] still continues to be threatened and crews are working strategically protect this area.”

Again, theFlames are now bumping into the scar from June’s Pawnee Fire. (See maps below). The whole northern edge of the fire and a good chunk of the south are uncontained. The fire jumped dozer lines above the down of Lucerne. Firefighters will be busy keeping the flames from heading towards the communities around Clear Lake today.

A hand crew prepares for a burn operation on Scott's Valley Road in Lake County to help stop the The River Fire. [

A hand crew prepares for a burn operation on Scott’s Valley Road in Lake County to help stop the River Fire. [Photo by Mark McKenna]

Last night crews continued to contain the River Fire. It mostly grew northward–pushing towards Hwy 20 and the Ranch Fire about a mile in some areas. But the south of the fire from west to east is mostly contained. Look for the fire to push further north but for overall containment lines to continue to grow as firefighters get a handle on this beast.

The Weather:

Expect smoke throughout and around the Complex. The weather will again be sunny, with highs in the nineties. Today will be breezy and increasingly windy after about 1 p.m.

Temperatures are expected to rise again tomorrow.

https://twitter.com/NWSSacramento/status/1026120681916964865

The Roads:

Smoke from the Ranch Fire as seen from Upper Lake looking east towards Nice. The fire is relatively close to Hwy 20 along the northside of Clear Lake.

Smoke from the Ranch Fire as seen from Upper Lake looking east towards Nice. The fire is relatively close to Hwy 20 along the north side of Clear Lake. [Photo from Caltrans District 1]

State Route 175 remains open as the River Fire burns to the north. State Routes 20 and 29 are still closed with no estimated time of reopening. According to Cal Trans, “The Ranch Fire is still threatening SR 20, so this section of highway will remain closed for now.”

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

The MAPS:

  • Fire Progression Maps up till August 3. [NOTE: These do not have the last day of the fires’ perimeters.]
  • Mendocino Complex Operations Map –to see details either zoom or click on the map and download a pdf.
    Mendocino Complex Operations Map

    Mendocino Complex 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 Heat Map–Note: area in gray is June’s Pawnee Fire footprint.

    Mendocino Complex Heat Map–Note: the area in black is June’s Pawnee Fire footprint.

DONATIONS:

Redwoods Rural Health Center in Redway is a Pay It Forward donation center. Call and ask first what they are accepting.

UPDATE 12:20 p.m.: Community meeting today at 6 p.m.:

WHAT: The Unified Commanders, CAL FIRE and U.S. Forest Service, are hosting a community
meeting to discuss the current situation of the Mendocino Complex. Officials will give an
operational overview, highlighting the current actions firefighters are taking on the fires.
Questions will be taken via Facebook.
WHEN: AUGUST 5, 2018 at 6:00 P.M.
WHERE: KPFX, 88.1 FM
PEG TV, Channel 8
CAL FIRE Mendocino Unit Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/CALFIREMEU)
County of Lake, California Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/lakecountycagov)
NOTES: The meeting will start promptly at 6 p.m. If you have questions about the meeting, please
call the Mendocino Complex Fire Information Line (707) 574- 8261.

Also, Hwy 20 reopens to 29:

UPDATE 12:25 p.m.: Repopulation of the North Lakeport area

WHEN: AUGUST 5, 2018 at 12:00 P.M.
WHERE: The following areas have been reduced to an Evacuation Advisory and may return to
their homes:
North Lakeport; north of the Scotts Valley Road and Hill Road intersection, east of Hill
Road, south of Nice-Lucerne Cutoff Road, and west of Clear Lake. This will include all
driveways and streets accessed from Hill Road.

Earlier Chapters:

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30 comments

  • There are no words for the respect I have for these firefighters. Just to endure the heat, smoke and danger makes them more courageous than I think I could ever be.

  • Thank you, Ms. Kemp for pulling all this info together in such a fast-changing situation. I am very lucky to be in Lakeport and in relative safety and comfort when so many are not. One of the things I want to work on today is to connect with folks who have a line on N-95 masks. I can’t find any so far. Meals On Wheels is starting again tomorrow (Mon.) and it would be great to distribute through their network.
    See: https://www.facebook.com/pg/lakecountywildfires/

  • Praying for all

  • Where do you get your hands on the Cal Fire Operations map? I can’t find this map anywhere else but on your site.

  • mark mckenna pics are dramatic and sad
    but i need to add something to one of them .
    the one that says ALTEC employee near the top . altec is a brand name of lift truck like ford or chevy . the employee works for AT&T . as a retired employee i can tell you we work inside fire areas also .
    if any of you out there have mother natures ear , please ask for rain without lightening

    • unbridled philistine

      Mother nature a real B word as of late.

      • Excuse me? No, humans not reproducing responsibly has led to severe overpopulation. There is only so much water on the planet and the drought will not end until overpopulation does. We fucked the planet over and now it is hurt. Humans are the B’s and for much longer than just as of late. Mother nature is the supreme goddess, how dare you disrespect her.

    • I updated the caption to a utility worker. Thank you.

  • Great coverage and photos Kym and Mark!

    I haven’t seen anything as far as the Carr fire goes for a couple days, covering one fire is enough. We don’t want Kym to break herself. If you are looking for info http://www.redding.com has decent coverage with regular updates, you can get scatter brained info on Twitter #carrfire. I use this link for heat maps and fire perimeter
    http://www.arcgis.com/apps/PublicInformation/index.html?appid=4ae7c683b9574856a3d3b7f75162b3f4

    I also check the different NWS weather radars at http://northcoastweather.com/ they will show the smoke plumes of what edge of the fire is cooking and how fast the wind is blowing from the plume trail. Official stuff is at http://www.fire.ca.gov

    Kym, just erase this post if you are working on Carr info

  • If anyone wants to see just how intense and dangerous fighting an out of control wind driven wildfire is, this is it. This is from yesterday at the Ranch Fire. Its 30 minutes long but an incredible journey into a maelstrom. For quick glimpse check out from 22:40 to 25:45. I guarantee you’ll want to donate to your local wildland volunteer fire company, cause when a fire starts they’re the first to hit it. And demand a reversal in the current administrations cuts to NFS’s wildland fire budget as well.

    https://www.pscp.tv/w/1yoJMVDZmRoxQ

    • Thanks, just incredible footage! I pray for everyone’s safety & may this hell be OVER SOON! Responders are unbelievable & so very brave for their efforts.

  • These are pictures and videos of my house burning. I would appreciate it if you could remove them. I ask for a little respect in this horrible time.

    • Dawn, I am so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to lose your home. But with all these wildfires, there are photos of people’s homes destroyed all over the internet and this serves a really important purpose. Because of reporters getting out the word about the disaster, the community is able to understand what is happening and pressure politicians to provide relief to people like you.

      When you get disaster relief after the fire, it will be in part because reporters were able to make this terrible situation real to the residents of this state. The outpouring of help will be because hopefully, we’ve opened people’s eyes and hearts to what you and hundreds like you are suffering.

      In every disaster, we see that people lose their homes. Sometimes we see them cry and holding each other, sometimes we see them screaming in rage, these images are even more intimate (and more powerful) than the terrible destruction of your home. We don’t do that to hurt the people who are photographed. We do it to help them and all the others that have had similar problems.

      We also hope it makes people question and search for answers on how to prevent this from happening in the future. Please understand, I don’t want to hurt people. I became a reporter to help. And I believe that images like these, will in the long run help us come up with solutions.

    • Dawn, if it helps and I know little helps at this point, if I read a story that some houses burned, I tut- tut and say how sorry I am. But if I see it, I feel it, not just say it. I can share some small part of your grief and want to help. Even if only making a donation. It makes me look around my own section of the world with new eyes and better understanding.

  • Multiple fires started in Covelo aircraft flying passes fire spreading

    Edit-
    Appears to be contained. Heli and aircraft flyovers effective and as well as very quick reaction by the fire crew here.

  • Lake County Record Bee also post live tweets from the area and evacuation updates … Kym has by far the superior updates but when you have loved ones trapped in that area where you have lost track of them, every little shred of info helps the heart!

    God bless all those helping those in need!! RIP for the lineman lost bringing the total so far known to 7 lives taken by these fires.

    • Just so, Shel. Just so. Thank goodness Kym’s amassing the most helpful information extant for us, because using Google for details is brain scramblingly UNhelpful.

  • Caltrans website says 20 is open all the way?

    SR 20

    [IN THE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA AREA]
    NO TRAFFIC RESTRICTIONS ARE REPORTED FOR THIS AREA.

  • My understanding from various Nixle alerts is that this afternoon (Sunday) Hwy 20 is open from 101 to Hwy 29; that is, the roundabout where 20 and 29 meet just outside Upper Lake. Upper Lake itself, however, is still closed and so is 20 down the NorthShore side (Nice, Lucerne, etc. to 53). So you can get from Lakeport to Ukiah, but not the North Shore towns, and not out east toward Williams.

  • Any idea how many jail and prison crews are working these fires?

  • Wow. Honestly I don’t know how Kym Kemp keeps her focus , I think I could do it for a spell, but day after day after day ? No. The magnitude of the stories I think is what would be the deterrent for me, just too much pain. But as time has shown, she apparently has the fortitude and coping skills to continue to delve into these tragedies over and over and I add to the chorus of appreciation for those efforts and amazing coverage! Thank you!! Maybe I’m overly sensitive, but here I think i side with the sole person who has asked that the photo/video be removed, only because while it certainly reflects the magnitude of the event , they did ask… and to link some future fire relief or ( intangible) future prevention efforts to a single image is a stretch imo and it’s absence would not dilute the story. Fire prevention? I mean it’s cool to hope, but it’s not like that’s gonna be happening. Anyway this is your news site. To Dawn, simply put, i guess in light of the sheer volume of images/videos that are posted daily on this busy newsblog addressing a request to delete a single video or pic is just not unfeasible. So sorry your loss is exposed . 🙁

    • We posted multiple photos and videos of the house. I don’t know if you realize that reporters get regular requests to take down photos (even mugshots that go with press releases.) The reality is that if we begin taking down for one person those requests would multiply. Which people do I decide have enough pain that I need to honor their requests and whose pain do I ignore?

      I wouldn’t have posted the video/photos if I didn’t believe they helped convey the magnitude of what is happening.

    • The remaining ones will up their premiums. I suppose that the State will weigh in with insurance pools like they did for earthquake insurance. And the result will be the same. The earthquake insurance I had before the State made private insurance illegal was less expensive, more comprehensive and more reliable.

    • The remaining ones will up their premiums. I suppose that the State will weigh in with insurance pools like they did for earthquake insurance. And the result will be the same. The earthquake insurance I had before the State made private insurance illegal was less expensive, more comprehensive and more reliable.

  • California is burning, with no immediate end in sight. Tomorrow’s weather forecast said “smoke”, I’ve never seen a forecast like that. I feel so helpless, fire leaves you like that, overpowered and ineffective, all you can do with a fire is watch it burn? I’ve always lived here, California is all I know? I was listening as the meteorologist mispronounced Mendocino, I have friends there, I’ll just look forward to them calling me to tell me they’re alive, I anticipate relief. It’s so surreal. Come on California, stay strong, stay safe, stay alive.

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