Containment Rises to 76% on the Mendocino Complex

A C-130 Air Tanker drops fire retardant on a ridge West of Scotts Valley Road.

A C-130 Air Tanker dropped fire retardant on a ridge West of Scotts Valley Road in early August. [Photo by Mark McKenna]

Firefighters kept the Mendocino Complex from advancing much yesterday. Containment grew to 76% and the fire only crept up about 3000 more acres to reach 366,837.

This morning, the area around Stonyford in Colusa County had mandatory evacuation orders dropped to only advisory evacuation notices.

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

The Plan:

Crews working to strengthen the line along the Eel River west of Lake Pillsbury.

Troops from the 14th Brigade Engineer Battalion help strengthen the fireline along Eel River west of Lake Pillsbury by installing temporary fencing along the line to catch roll-out. [Photo dated August 14 by SGT Uriah Walker, 5th MPAD. Caption and photo from]

The Ranch Fire crept northward again yesterday but at a much slower pace. Higher humidity helped firefighters but that is going to change starting today and through the weekend. The vegetation is expected to have very low moisture content–4 to 6% which will increase fire danger.
According to Cal Fire,

The fire continues to remain active in the Mendocino National Forest as well as threaten communities that reside north of the fire perimeter. Crews continued to construct control lines, tying together preexisting containment barriers, especially north of the Snow Mountain Wilderness. Crews continued structure preparation and defense in the communities threatened by the Ranch Fire. Today’s operations will focus on the northwest and northeast edges of the Ranch Fire, while continuing to prepare for controlled firing
operations to improve containment lines as conditions allow.

No growth is expected now on the south half of the fire.

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

The Weather:  

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

Mount Konocti cam shows much lighter smoke than has been normal recently over Clear Lake this morning.   [Image from here]

Temperatures will rise today and continue to do so over the weekend reaching into the triple digits in some areas. Humidity will also drop making firefighting more challenging.

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.
    Northern edge of the Mendocino Complex August 16

    Northern edge of the Mendocino Complex August 16

    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 map

    Mendocino Complex Infrared map from August 15. There is no August 16 available at this time.



Earlier Chapters:


One comment

  • Thanks for the coverage. The firefighters are doing a great job, all they can. Condolences for those lost in the fires.

    There needs to be more thinning of trees allowed, for prevention in the future to prevent losing anymore people.

    “The more you stop logging to control brush and forest to save the Spotted Owl, the more brush grows and the bigger the fires become. They are going to get much, much bigger. Tens then hundreds of millions of acres burned. Tens then hundreds of thousands of homes burned. Billions and then tens of billions in fire control costs. Ultimately, it all just burns and nothing is saved. No wildlife and no homes.”

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