Conquering New Territory, The Mendocino Complex Marches North

Firefighters and engines at Hogback Ridge near Nice working on the Ranch Fire 8-6-18. Photo by Dabin Lambert.

Firefighters and engines at Hogback Ridge near Nice working on the Ranch Fire 8-6-18. [Photo by Dabin Lambert and caption from InciWeb]

The Mendocino Complex again grew to the north. It has now conquered 378,720 acres but containment is holding steady at 76%. The largest fire in modern California history continues to claw through remote, rugged terrain and take new ground. However, firefighters are mostly managing to protect critical infrastructure and homes.

The following map shows the fire history of this area. It was created on the 15th so it doesn’t show the lastest acreage of the Ranch Fire but nonetheless it is eyeopening.

The fire history of the area around where the Mendocino Complex is currently burning.

The fire history of the area around where the Mendocino Complex is currently burning.

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

The Plan:

 

Task Force Rugged soldiers assigned to @LancerBrigade out of @JBLM_PAO, Wash., join an Aravaipa hand crew in Mendocino National Forest, Calif., in preparation for impending wildfire.

Task Force Rugged soldiers assigned to @LancerBrigade out of @JBLM_PAO, Wash., join an Aravaipa hand crew in Mendocino National Forest, Calif., in preparation for impending wildfire. [Image and caption from U.S. Army North’s Twitter feed]

The Ranch Fire again moved to the north yesterday taking in over 12,000 new acres but firefighters also created solid containment lines on the northeast edge of the fire.
According to Cal Fire,

Overnight, firefighters were able to reinforce containment lines, tying together pre-existing containment barriers, especially north of
the Snow Mountain Wilderness. Crews continued structure defense in the communities threatened by the Ranch Fire.
Today, with increasing temperatures and relative humidity dropping, fire activity is expected to increase this afternoon. Firing
operations are expected to occur as weather conditions permit.

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

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

The Weather:  

A plume of smoke rises from Ranch Fire's northern edge as seen from the Mount Konocti cam.

A plume of smoke rises from Ranch Fire’s northern edge as seen from the Mount Konocti cam. [Image from here]

Smoky and hot weather will be pervasive throughout the region. Temperatures will rise today and continue to do so over the weekend reaching into the triple digits in some areas.

The Roads:

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

The MAPS:

  • Mendocino Complex Operations Map –to see details either zoom or click on the map and download a pdf.
    The northern edge of the Mendocino Complex August 17

    The northern edge of the Mendocino Complex August 17

    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 August 17

    Mendocino Complex Heat Map August 17

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6 comments

  • Remember: Tragedy is when life and property burns, forest fire is not tragedy, rather it is the natural check and balance of the forest. Its most beneficial that Calfire sat back and let this one burn while protecting life and property. If they had not let it burn, they would be back out there next year fighting another one. Looks like there will not be too many more fires in Lake County considering about 50% of the County has burned in the last 4 years. Kudos to Calfire for letting nature run it’s course while protecting property and saving and protecting human life. Fire is the natural elememt in our forests, smart to let these forest fires run theor course and let the Cali ecosystem to ise natural checks and balances to get back in balance. There was an equally large fire in Lake County in the 1920’s which burned all the way into fall rains, this is the way of our inland oak woodland ecosystems for aeons.
    Thank You Calfire

    • Thank you for the reminder about the role fire naturally plays in our ecosystem, “Thanks Calfire.” Being so close to the fire myself during the first 2 weeks, I find your comment provided me with the look at the big picture that I needed. But it’s easier to relax and recognize Nature doing some good work for the long haul when your home and community are not in danger, and even the smoke is starting to clear up, with bluer skies overhead.
      I have to point out that informed scuttlebutt (if I may use this oxymoron) says that this fire DID have a human cause, someone using tools at a time and place they should not have. I truly feel sorry for this person because we have all made stupid mistakes at one time or another, and gotten away with them by sheer luck.

  • Meanwhile the Mill Creek fire in Hoopa is over 500 acres now…

  • First of thank you and God bless all firefighters.
    At the rate we are going it might be easier to quote the number of acres not burned in the last ten years.
    I guess the land burned will serve as a sort of natural firebreak but I have seen burned land come back really brushy and even scarier to think of what would happen if it burned in the future.

  • Are there many homes in the way of the new direction of the fire? I don’t know the area.

    • Short answer. No. More nuanced answer, download the heat map and use Google Earth. Then you can see that there are a few structures peppered throughout the area.

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