The North Pass Fire in Mendocino County gained acreage yesterday, and the fire is moving northeast into the Yolla Bolly Middle Eel Wilderness. Extreme fire behavior (crowning, torching, and long-range spotting) has been observed in the afternoons. The fire is 18 percent contained at 20,775 acres.
There is no recorded fire history for the north side of the fire; both ERCs and live fuel moistures are at critical levels, with temperatures in the mid-90s. The Willits News reported that the fire is burning aggressively north and east. It crossed the Eel River on the southern border and is expanding in an easterly direction.
Smoke has been especially heavy in the Covelo/Round Valley areas, and air quality alerts have been issued.
The Lake County News reported that the fire is under unified command with Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service, and is burning in the Williams Valley area 10 miles northeast of Covelo. Two outbuildings were destroyed and 75 homes are threatened, along with five commercial properties and about 80 outbuildings.
Mandatory evacuations are in effect for areas on Indian Dick Road and Mendocino Pass Road near Covelo, the Bauer Ranch subdivision, and nearby USFS campsites. There were nearly 1,100 personnel on the fire on Thursday evening, with 96 engines, 26 crews, two airtankers, six helicopters, 34 bulldozers, and 21 water tenders.