(Originally published at 8:12 a.m. PDT August 6, 2018)
The Mendocino Complex of Fires east of Ukiah, California has blackened more than 273,664 acres, becoming the second largest wildfire in the state’s recorded history if the size of the two fires in the “complex” are combined. Since we last reported on the fire two days ago it has grown by 120,000 acres, according to the numbers released by CAL FIRE Monday morning.
(To see all articles on Wildfire Today about the Mendocino Complex of Fires, including the most recent, click HERE.)
The Ranch Fire, north of Clear Lake, over the last two days has spread five miles east, one to two miles north, and three miles south. Sunday it spread into the footprint of the Pawnee Fire that in June of this year burned 14,000 acres west and south of Indian Valley Reservoir north of Highway 20. The blaze is threatening communities on the east shore of Clear Lake, including Nice, Lucerne, Pepperwood, Glenhaven, and Clearlake Oaks.
The other fire that makes up the “complex” is the River Fire west of Clear Lake. About three-quarters of the perimeter has been quiet recently, but it is still moving aggressively north, coming to within less than two miles of merging with the Ranch Fire to the north. The report by one local media outlet that they had already merged was premature.
On the two fires 75 residences have been destroyed and another 9,300 remain threatened.
Resources assigned to the fire include 432 fire engines, 89 water tenders, 15 helicopters, 57 hand crews, and 80 dozers, for a total of 3,781 personnel.
Nationwide on wildfires 558 hand crews, 186 helicopters, and 1,907 fire engines are assigned on wildfires, for a total 28,234 personnel including overhead and other firefighting resources.
Australia and New Zealand have sent 138 fire personnel to assist. They are currently deployed in California, Oregon, and Washington.