UPDATE 6/27/18, 7:05 p.m. — The growth of the Pawnee Fire slowed today, and firefighters made significant progress amidst favorable weather conditions. The fire has now burned 13,700 acres, and is 30% contained, with no new structures were burned, and the total number of structures burned still 22. There have been no injuries or fatalities. Mandatory evacuations only remain in effect for Walker Ridge and Double Eagle, in other places the evacuations have been lifted and people are beginning to return to their homes.
UPDATE 6/26/18, 7:35 p.m. — CalFire has released new numbers as of this evening for the Pawnee Fire. Currently the fire has burned 13,000 acres — but good news, firefighters have made substantial progress and the fire is now 17% contained. The evacuations orders from yesterday and the evacuation advisory from this afternoon, as well as the road closures, still stand (see below). Hwy. 20 is not closed. The number of structures burned has also not increased from 22, nor have their been any deaths or major injuries.
Several readers have inquired about the aircraft. CalFire has had prop plane air tankers operating more or less continuously since the fire started, there are reports that today there was some drops made from the VLAT, one of the “very large air tankers.” But the famed 747 supertanker, which made several appearances in northern California last fire season, has not been seen.
So The Mendocino Voice did a little bit of digging and came back with this explanation: The Boeing 747 supertanker is not owned by the state or CalFire, it is instead owned by a private company called Global SuperTanker Services LLC. CalFire does not have an exclusive contract with the company, so the supertanker flies around the world, fighting fires on different continents. However, it currently is at an airport in California, being cleared for operation, and could be fighting fires here as early as next week, according to a spokesman at CalFire.
UPDATE 3:30 p.m. — As of about 3 p.m. today California State Route 20 (SR 20, or Highway 20 to most of us), is NOT closed. Though the fire is burning on both sides of the highway, the road remains open. Many people are asking about the road’s status, and rumors are spreading that it has closed, possibly due to some oddly worded press releases issued today.
CalTrans tweeted out this information earlier today:
Pawnee Fire Rumor Control:
Highway 20 is open. There have been false reports that it was closed at Hwy 16 and 53. Local county roads may be closed near those highways but no state highways are closed due to… https://t.co/bPy6TNUtJ6
— Caltrans District 1 (@CaltransDist1) June 26, 2018
UPDATE, 6/26/18, 1:25 p.m. — A new evacuation advisory have been issued by the Colusa County Sheriff’s Office, as the Pawnee Fire continues to spread east over the county line. The following places are being urged to prepare to evacuate “at any moment”: East of the Walker Ridge area, the Wilbur Springs area, Bear Valley, and Brim Road.
The CCSO issued this noticed:
The Colusa County Sheriff Office has issued an Evacuation Advisory
Warning for the areas listed above. The Pawnee fire is expected to
continue to burn, and further updates may be forthcoming. Residents are
urged to be ready to evacuate at any moment. For more information, and
to find a checklist on how to prepare, visit www.readyforwildfire.org
For questions please contact Colusa County Sheriff Lieutenant Mark
Contreras at (530)458-0200.
Stay safe out there.
MENDOCINO Co., 6/26/18 — The Pawnee Fire in Lake County continues to grow, adding 1000 acres overnight and now stands at least 11,500 acres. A couple pieces of good news: it’s mostly moving in a eastern direction, towards less populated areas, and has reached the Indian Valley Reservoir, which has stopped the progress of the fire in that direction. The number of structures destroyed still stands at 22, with 600 threatened, and there are still no reports of injuries or fatalities.
Mandatory evacuations are still in place (see below for details) and a few new road closures have been established: in Colusa County, Bear Valley Rd. is closed at CA-20 and at Brim Rd; Leesville Lodge Rd. is closed at Brim Rd.; in Lake County the road closures from yesterday remain in effect.
To give you a better idea of where all this is happening here are a few maps of the fire’s spread:
This map is from Mappingsupport.com
This map is based on infrared data and was complied by our friends at yubanet.com, and can be seen here, https://yubanet.com/Fires/pawnee/
The mandatory evacuation orders are:
The entire Spring Valley community which includes all roads accessed off of Old Long Valley Road and New Long Valley Road, north of Highway 20. Also, includes Mule Skinner, Long Branch, Watertrough Rd, Flintlock, Muzzleloader, No Guns, Antelope, Cougar, Marianne, Ramrod, and Moccasin.
An evacuation center has been established at Lower Lake High School, at 9430 Lake Street in Lower Lake; and an animal evac center has been set up at the Social Service Center at 15975 Anderson Ranch Parkway in Lower Lake. For additional animal needs you can call animal control at (707) 263-0278.