Mendocino Complex Claims the Life of One Firefighter and More Acres

The LIttle Tujunga Hotshots conducted a firing operation at Kibbey Peak the night of Aug. 8.

The Little Tujunga Hotshots conducted a firing operation at Kibbey Peak the night of Aug. 8. [Image from here]

Yesterday, the massive Mendocino Complex took the life of a firefighter from Utah. Last night, at a press conference, authorities announced that a firefighter from Utah was injured and carried to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Today, the Draper City Fire Department announced that the firefighter belonged to their department.  A tweet from their account made the statement,

Our hearts are breaking as we announce the loss of one of Draper City’s firefighters in the Mendocino Fire last night. Words cannot explain how it feels to lose a true hero. We sent five of our team members to California to battle these terrible fires. They have worked long, hard hours to help save lives and property.

The fire continues to rage northward marking new territory as its own as firefighters battle to protect structures around Lake Pillsbury and Stonyford.

The Complex is now being fought in four counties and has now reached 354,410 acres and is estimated to be only 68% contained.

For more information on evacuations and road closures, click here or see the evacuation map below.

The Plan:

Planning Lake Pillsbury's defense on August 12.

Planning Lake Pillsbury’s defense on August 12. [Photo from InciWeb]

The Ranch Fire is burning hot and fast at the north end towards Lake Pillsbury. It is now 305,490 acres after claiming around another 10,000 acres yesterday. Cal Fire stated this morning,

Fire crews will continue operations on both the east and west flanks of the fire, working to protect the communities of Lake Pillsbury and Stonyford. Fire crews are working in difficult conditions and terrain to bring the fire around threatened communites and back into the Mendocino National Forest. Firefighters are actively engaging in structure protection where the fire has already reached structures and communities.

No growth is expected now on the south end of the fire around the Clear Lake communities.

The River Fire is now completely contained. Total acreage on the fire is 48,920.

The Weather:  

Smoke over Clear Lake

Mount Konocti cam shows smoke hanging over Clear Lake this morning.   [Image from here]

In the fire areas, expect smoke in the morning with the air clearing and smoke moving eastward in the afternoon. It will be hazy and hot for the next few days. Temperatures will be in the mid-nineties.

The Roads:

All major roads are open throughout the Mendocino Complex.  However, many smaller roads are closed so check Cal Fire for the latest.


  • 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 Infrared interpretation map

    Mendocino Complex Infrared interpretation map

    Evacuation Map:

    Evacuation Map current as of 6 p.m. yesterday.

    Evacuation Map current as of 6 p.m. August 13. Click here for a larger version or zoom in.


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

Earlier Chapters:



  • My heart goes out to the family and his fire fighting brothers. Let us hope that this will be the last of the taking of these truely brave men who are fighting this raging fire to save our state.

  • The Trump administration’s official position is that climate change does not exist and these fires were caused by environmentalists who prevent logging, or by environmentalists who let the rivers flow to the sea. Who is to blame for this heroes death? Exxon?

    • Just seeing the phrase “environmentalists who let the rivers flow to the sea” makes me cringe and shows the big problem. ..that people think somehow we control nature. Rivers all flow to the sea on the west coast all on their own. The areas of the fires have some of the biggest reservoirs around.
      I dont think folks are listening to fire fighters, water is almost useless in some of these fires.
      Yes start with exxon and shell, theyve known since the 70’s the effects of climate shift and what was and is now causing it. So so many unnecssary deaths and so much unnecssary sufferring all for the mighty dollar.
      Also citizens united which gave corporations personhood. And the patent laws that allow big petroleum companies to buy up the patents to sustainable tech and sit on it so it cant legally be developed.

      Mainly we can blame ourselves. The writings been on the wall in big flashing letters for over 25 years. None of us is really willing to give up things in our lives to help so now we will be forced to. We’re past the point of no return sp get your emergency kits ready and be as self sustaining as possible.
      There are lots of books out there from 80’s&90’s that show the scientific models of ocean temp rise leading to jet stream shift leading to massive storms on atlantic coast and dry crazy fires on west coast. Its pretty basic science that trump admin willnot allow scientists to talk about. So in the end, he and pence are to blame as theyre taking away every environmental reg put in place to help stop the things we know are polluting our atmosphere. Idbe iverjoyed to see them held to task, tried in court and put in a group of inmate fire fighters put on the frontlines making a dollar a day.

    • Among MANY others, YES!!!

  • May God bless the fire fighter from Utah. Thank you for coming to California to help. Love and prayers for your family and friends. May you rest in peace.

  • As with military Veterans, this phrase can also be said of Firefighters & First Responders in general!!! ALL gave some, some gave ALL!!!!! Hand Salute, Ready, Two!!!! RIP good Sir or Ma’am!!!

  • Randy MacKendrick

    Draper Battalion Chief Matthew Burchett stand down, your brothers and sister will take it from here.

  • How was he injured?

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