Editor’s note: This story is being continuously updated with the latest info. What you see at the top is the most recent. For older and more in-depth info, scroll down.
UPDATE 7/30/18 — Here is our new article for today:
UPDATE 7:10 p.m. — CalFire has sent out it’s evening fact-sheet with information about the Mendocino Complex fires. The Ranch Fire has grown to 16,300 acres and containment remains at 5%, the River fire has grown to 14,200 acres and also remains at 5% contained. Six residences have been destroyed by the two fires, and the fire is quickly approaching various Lake County communities including Lakeport and Upper Lake. Indeed, the entirety of western Lake County has been placed under a mandatory evacuation order (more details if you scroll down). If you scroll down you’ll see all the mandatory evacuation orders and advisories, which we published as they came out.
Here is the fact-sheet:Incident Update 7.29
UPDATE 6:50 p.m. — A couple new evacuation advisories and orders:
There is an evacuation advisory now in effect, that is a warning, for Kelseyville and Finley. The advisory area is from north of the Sonoma-Lake-Mendo line to Clearlake and from east of Highland Springs Rd. to Bottle Rock Rd. and Clearlake State Park.
And here are some new maps for the Potter Valley evacs:
— Mendocino Sheriff (@MendoSheriff) July 30, 2018
UPDATE 6:10 p.m. — The Lake County sheriff is evacuating all of western Lake County as far east as Nice.
Here is the mandatory evac:
UPDATE 5:30 p.m. — The MCSO has issued a new evacuation warning for an area south of Potter Valley. The area is along Hwy. 20, south of MeWhinney Creek to one mile south of Hwy. 20, from Potter Valley Rd. east to the Mendo-Lake county line.
An evacuation order has also been issued for the Pine Ave. area of Potter Valley, from Eastside Potter Valley Rd., east to the county line.
The Ranch Fire is growing rapidly in this area and has grown far enough east to force and evacuation of Upper Lake. Please use caution and follow evacuation orders.
UPDATE 5:10 p.m. — An evacuation order has been issued for Upper Lake as the Ranch Fire encorches on that location. Hwy. 20 between Potter Valley Rd. and Hwy. 29 remains closed. Here is the text of the evac notice from the Lake County Sheriff’s Dept. (LCSD):
Mandatory Evacuation for Upper LakeThis is a Mandatory Evacuation Notice for Upper Lake, CA.Evacuate Immediately!Upper Lake is under imminent threat from the Ranch Fire. Leave immediately via Hwy 20 Southbound.Shelters established at Lower Lake High School and Twin Pines Casino in Middletown.
The power outage across Lake and Mendocino counties remains, more info on that here.
UPDATE 4:10 p.m. — Hwy. 20 between Pottery Valley and Lake County is closed. A reliable source informs us that they saw the fire jumping the 20. The highway is closed from Potter Valley road to the junction with Hwy. 29.
The fire has also burned into two high voltage transmission lines in Lake County causing the large power-outage. The lines were damaged by the fire, and PG&E workers cannot currently access the lines due to intense fire conditions. For full coverage of the outage check our article here.
UPDATE 3:55 p.m. — The mandatory evacuation notice for Lakeport has been expanded to include surrounding areas, here is the text:
River Fire Mandatory Evacuation Notice for Lakeport & Surrounding AreaThis is a Mandatory Evacuation Notice for the City of Lakeport and the surrounding areas. This includes all residents north of Highland Springs/Big Valley Road and South of 20th Street. The River Fire poses an imminent threat to the area. Residents are directed to immediately evacuate.A shelter has been established in Middletown, at the Twin Pines Casino, 22223 Hwy 29, in Middletown.
The power is still out in much of Mendocino Co., scroll down for more info about evacuations and the power outage.
There is also a new evacuation advisory for Finley and Big Valley Rancheria in Lake Co.
UPDATE 3:05 p.m. — Lakeport is being evacuated, the entire city has been placed on a mandatory evacution notice. Here is the text of the message sent out:
This is a Mandatory Evacuation Notice for the City of Lakeport as a result of the River Fire.The River Fire poses an imminent threat to the City of Lakeport. Residents should leave immediately and seek shelter in Middletown, at the Twin Pines Casino, 22223 Hwy. 29, in Middletown.
A new evacuation warning has also been issued for a section of Potter Valley. Though technically much of Potter Valley has been under a warning for over a day, this new warning is for an area directly adjacent to recent fire growth, and signals a potentially worsening situation. Here is the a link to a map of the evacuation areas and advisories in near Potter Valley.
Here is the text of that evacuation warning:
EVACUATION WARNING for the Pine Avenue area of Potter Valley. Evacuation warning for all residences off of Pine Avenue including areas north of Burris Lane to 10511 Eastside Potter Valley Road and east of Eastside Potter Valley Road to the county line.
Also a massive power outage has hit Mendocino and Lake counties, and a couple small fires have sprung up. Here is our coverage of that:
UPDATE 12:30 p.m. — CalFire has put out a new mid-day video update on the Mendocino Complex, posted below in this article. There is also a new map of the fire put out around 10 a.m. this morning.
The number for the non-emergency public information line is 707.574.8261, but there is currently a high volume of calls — if you are trying to get through and do not reach someone, they may be on the line with another caller, and you should call again.
Smokey and hazy skies are situation throughout most of California. Some free N-95 masks will be available at the Ukiah branch of the Mendocino County Library from 1 – 5 p.m. today, and you can also purchase them from local hardware stores. Additional free masks may be available at other county agencies in the future. The National Weather Service is currently predicting worsening wind conditions through this evening:
— NWS Sacramento (@NWSSacramento) July 29, 2018
The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors will be holding a special meeting at 9 a.m. on July 31 in the board chamber on Low Gap Road in Ukiah in order to address local emergency needs and the local emergency declaration issued yesterday. Gov Brown also declared an state emergency for these fires yesterday, and FEMA will also be providing assistance.
Here’s the map:RanchFire-29-JUL_1045
The Ranch Fire has been moving towards Highway 20, and CalFire is working on improving containment and doing dozer work and structure protection. One of today’s goals on the fire will be to prevent the Ranch fire from going further north, or from getting into the Middle Creek drainage area (see video for map).
Yesterday the high temperatures and windy conditions meant that fire fighters saw some long-range spotting, including up to distances of a mile in advance of the fire, including around one of the repeaters near the Middle Creek drainage. In the video, the battalion chief notes that this is “significant infrastructure” and that it is believed most of the repeater was saved and operating, although CalFire has not yet returned to the scene.
The River Fire made a strong run towards Lakeport to the east yesterday, but firefighters succeeding in establishing dozer lines to the east of the fire, about at the western edge of the unincorporated sections of Lakeport. Mandatory evacuations remain in place for these unincorporated areas west of Highway 29. Lakeport is under an evacuation advisory. CalFire will also be working to make sure the fire does not jump Highway 175 on the southern edge of the fire. Much of the work on the northern parts of the River Fire will take place on BLM lands establishing dozer lines.
The shelter at the Twin Pines Casino in Middletown is now closed. Sutter Lakeside Hospital is open and operating normally, but there will be no elective surgeries tomorrow.
Here’s the video:
— CAL FIRE Mendocino (@CALFIRE_MEU) July 29, 2018
UPDATE 9:10 a.m. — There will be a community meeting in Kelseyville this evening, which is also where an evacuation center has been set up for people evacuating from Lake Co. Here is the text of that message:
There will be a community meeting regarding the Mendo Complex Fires at Kelseyville High School at 5 PM today. This meeting will be for Lake County residents and there will be county and state representatives attending to answer questions from the community regarding the fires.
Additionally, Lake County has sent out a list of road closures, they are:
As of this morning, all Mandatory & Advisory Evacuations for Lake County remain in effect. Shelters are available at the Mountain Vista Middle School, 5081 Konocti Road, Kelseyville.
Lake County Animal Services main faciliy in Lakeport is open to assist evacuees.
This is the Current List of Road Closures:
Road Closures by CHP
Scotts Valley Rd @ Mountview Rd/11th St (Lakeport)
Hill Road @ Scotts Valley Rd (Lakeport)
Laurel Dell near Scotts /valley Rd @ Scotts Valley Rd (Blue Lakes)
Bachelor Valley Rd @ Hwy 20 (Upper Lake / Bachelor Valley & Witter Springs Community)
Witter Springs Rd @ Hwy 20 (Upper Lake / Bachelor Valley & Witter Springs Community)
Elk Mountain Rd @ Rancheria Rd (Upper Lake)
Blue Lake Rd @ Hwy 20 (Blue Lakes)
Irvine Ave @ Hwy 20 (Blue Lakes)
Mid Lake Rd @ Hwy 20 (Blue Lakes)
Mathews Rd @ Hwy 175 (Lakeport)
Saratoga Springs Rd @ Hwy 20 (Upper Lake / Bachelor Valley & Witter Springs Community)
Highland Springs Rd @ Argonuat Rd (Lakeport)
Highland Springs Rd @ Bell Hill Rd (Lakeport)
Highland Springs Rd @ Merritt (Lakeport)
Road Closures by LPD & Lakeport Public Works
Parallel Dr @ Hwy 175 (Lakeport)
Martin St # Hwy 29 overpass (Lakeport)
MENDOCINO Co., 7/29/18 — Both the River Fire and the Ranch Fire — the two distinct fires known as the “Mendocino Complex” — continued to grow overnight, with the Ranch Fire surpassing the River Fire in size. The Ranch Fire, located to the north of Highway 20, now covering an area from eastern Potter Valley to about Hwy. 29 in Lake Co. stood at about 5,000 acres last night, according to CalFire. CalFire is now stating that that fire has grown to 13,242 acres — it is unclear how much of this growth occurred overnight, and now much is a result of better mapping as CalFire brings in new resources and sets up a command center.
The River Fire, which began along Old River Road south of Ukiah and spread quickly east towards Lakeport, is now being listed at 11,028 acres. Both fires remain at 5% containment.
Also, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), signed a fire management assistance declaration to bring federal support fire fighting efforts across the state.
The new CalFire fact-sheet lists the same areas as being under evacuation orders, or evacuation advisory, as had been placed under those statuses as of last night.
For the Ranch Fire that includes the south eastern section of Potter Valley, from Eastside Potter Valley Rd. and south of Burris Lane to the fire lines. Also, north of Hwy. 20 from the fire line all the way to the Lake Co. line. In Lake County the areas of Blue Lakes, Bachelor Valley, Witter Springs, and other sections north of Hwy. 20 are evacuated. Check the fact-sheet below for more details.
As for the River Fire, the area to the east of Old River Rd. remains under evacuation, and effectively most of the area west of Lakeport from the 29 to the fire is evacuated. Lakeport itself remains under an evacuation advisory. For more details consult the fact-sheet below.
The number of structures threatened by the two fires is now at of 4,587, and four structures have been destroyed by the two fires.
The CalFire update notes that crews continued to work throughout the night to improve containment lines, but that dry and hot weather will continue to be a challenge, and that “a lack of available suppression and overhead personnel will also slow the fire fighting efforts.” Firefighting resources around the state are currently stretched thin due to multiple fires blazing.
Here is our coverage from yesterday, with lots of minute by minute details:
A fact-sheet was put out at about 7a.m., but a new one with a correction was issued at about 8:30 a.m., so here’s the even newer. (Quick note, this is a PDF, if you mouse over it you’ll see some controls, including arrows in the lower left corner, those arrows let you go to the next page.)Incident Update CORRECTED 7.29-2