UPDATE 12:15 a.m. 7/29/18 — We have been reporting on the massive power outage in Mendocino and Lake counties. Here is that article:
And here is the last updated fact-sheet from CalFire that went out at about 9:30 p.m.:Incident Update 7.28 (1)
UPDATE 8:45 p.m. — The Blue Lakes area in Lake Co. is now under a mandatory evacuation order. A portion of Potter Valley has also been evacuated, scroll down a bit for that information. Here is the full text of the order for Blue Lakes:
This is a Mandatory Evacuation Notice for the Blue Lakes Area. Please leave immediately. Shelters have been established at the Mountain Vista Middle School in Kelseyville, and will also be established at the Twin Pines Casino in Middletown. Middletown High School is providing food until the shelter is open.
Also, Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in Lake, Mendocino and Napa counties.
UPDATE 7:55 p.m. — A mandatory evacuation warning has just been issued for parts of the Potter Valley area: “north of Highway 20, east of the fire edge, to the Mendocino Lake County line. South of Burris Lane into Mewhainney Creek, and east side Potter Valley Road, and all roads off of Burris Lane east of the county line.”
Here is a map:
MANDATORY EVACUATION for Potter Valley area;
areas North of Hwy 20, East of the fire edge to Mendo/Lake County line.
South of Burris Lane in to Mewhinney Creek and East of East Side Potter Valley Rd & all roads off of Burris Ln, East to the county linehttps://t.co/ByjZqnPCm2 pic.twitter.com/3GIrPRXIy2
— Mendocino Sheriff (@MendoSheriff) July 29, 2018
Here’s the announcement:
MANDATORY EVACUATION for Potter Valley area;
areas North of Hwy 20, East of the fire edge to Mendo/Lake County line.
South of Burris Lane in to Mewhinney Creek and East of East Side Potter Valley Rd and all roads off of Burris Lane, East to the county line.#MendocinoComplex
— Mendocino Sheriff (@MendoSheriff) July 29, 2018
UPDATE 7:40 p.m. — Scanner traffic indicates that the Ranch Fire is continuing to move steadily east, and that it could approach Blue Lakes either by tomorrow morning, or even tonight. We are reporting this for scanner chatter and while the area is under an evacuation advisory, no official evacuation order has been issued for that area.
UPDATE 7:28 p.m. — A new mandatory evacuation order has been issued for the east side of Elk Mountain Rd. in Lake Co. Here is the full text:
This is a mandatory evacuation notice for the east side of Elk Mountain Road from Rancheria Road to the Middle Creek Campground. Residents are advised to evacuate immediately. A shelter has been established at the Mountain Vista Middle School in Kelseyville, and another at the Twin Pines Casino in Middletown that will open after 11PM.
UPDATE 7:15 p.m. — Scanner chatter indicates that the Ranch Fire is approaching Highway 20 in some locations, and there is potential for it to cross the highway and law enforcement are headed there. People are advised to avoid the area is necessary — there have been some issues with traffic caused by looky-loos stopping near the fires.
The scene in Lakeport is eerily quiet and the sky is dark with smoke — one plume to the west and one to the north. Winds are pushing both fires slowly towards the north, and more rapidly towards the east.
We are getting reports on individual people getting evacuated from southeastern sections of Potter Valley, but those reports have not yet been confirmed by an official general evacuation of a new area.
If you are in an evacuation advisory area, be ready to evacuate at any time. Conditions are erratic and changing quickly. The MCSO will be announcing any new evacuations, but people should sign up for emergency alerts and also stay vigilant about conditions in your area and be prepared for potential changes in fire direction.
UPDATE 5:15 p.m.— A new mandatory evacuation has been issued for Elk Mountain Road north of Rancheria Road in Lake County as of 4:37 p.m. Residents should evacuate immediately. There is a shelter is at Mountain Vista Middle School in Kelseyville and another at the Twin Pines Casino in Middletown. Here’s the full message.
Here’s an interview with CalFire Battalion Chief Jeremy Rahn at 3 p.m. at the CalFire command center at Factory Pipe in Ukiah:
UPDATE 4:25 p.m. — Several mandatory evacuation orders and evacuation advisories have been issued in the last couple hours, and other remain in effect. In addition a state of emergency has been declared for Mendocino County. Continue reading for all the details, and as always, we’ll continue updating.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Dept. has just issued a mandatory evacuation order for Witter Springs and Bachelor Valley areas, as the Ranch Fire approaches those areas. Here is the full text of the order:
This is a Mandatory Evacuation Notice for Witter Springs and Bachelor Valley. Residents should leave immediately. A Shelter has been established at the Mountain Vista Middle School in Kelseyville, and another at the Twin Pines Casino in Middletown.Please leave immediately.
Another mandatory evacuation has been ordered for the Scotts Valley area. Residents there are told to leave immediately and travel north to Hwy. 20.
This is a Mandatory Evacuation notification for Scotts Valley. Residents should evacuate to the North, and exit the area via Highway 20. A shelter has been established at the Mountain Vista Middle School in Kelseyville, and another at the Twin Pines Casino in Middletown.Leave Immediately.
You can sign up for alerts from the LCSD here.
An evacuation order remains in effect for areas west of Lakeport to the Mendo county line, in Lake Co. And the city of Lakeport itself remains under and evacuation advisory. Last we heard, as of about 3:30 p.m., the River Fire had grown to within two miles of the western unincorporated areas of Lakeport. The MCSO has sent personel over to Lake Co. to assist with evacuations and other activities.
Additionally, areas of Mendocino County between Talmage and Hopland remain under varying states of mandatory evacuation and advisory, scroll down to our earlier coverage for maps of those areas.
On the other side of the Ranch Fire the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has just tweeted out that the fire is NOT moving down into the Potter Valley floor. Many people had called in, seeing the massive smoke plume coming off that fire, asking if the fire was encroaching north into the valley. The MCSO has responded, tweeting out that the fire is instead moving, east through Lamb Ranch, towards the national forest. Here is that tweet:
UPDATE – PLS RT
@CALFIRE_MEU has confirmed that the #RanchFire is moving east through the Lamb Ranch towards National Forest land which was the prediction for fire movement based on earlier assessments. The fire is NOT moving into the Potter Valley floor. #MendocinoComplex
— Mendocino Sheriff (@MendoSheriff) July 28, 2018
The San Francisco Chronicle has a fire map that is being updated from satellite data periodically which gives some idea of where the fires are. It can be viewed here.
Additionally a state of emergency has been declared by Mendocino County. Here is the text of that message:
Mendocino Complex Fires – Emergency DeclarationPost Date: 07/28/2018 2:27 PMOn Friday, July 27, 2018, two major fires broke out near Hwy 20 close to Potter Valley (Ranch Fire) and near Old River Rd in the South Ukiah/Hopland area (the River Fire). These fires are collectively being referred to as the Mendocino Complex Fire. There have been mandatory evacuations and evacuation advisories for both fires.The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has been activated and is being operated by the Office of Emergency Services (OES) with the assistance of the Executive Office. The EOC number is (707) 467-6428.There are shelters open at Mendocino College, Redwood Riders Arena for horses, as well as the Ukiah Animal Shelter. More shelters will be made available should the need arise.Due to these fires that have resulted in threats to critical infrastructure including public safety communications systems, structural damage and evacuations of several portions of the County, a condition of extreme peril to life and property now exists in Mendocino County and a Local Emergency has been declared.Further press releases are forth coming as the Mendocino Complex Fire progresses.
Also, to our knowledge Hwy. 175 remains closed.
And here is our interview with CalFire Battalion Chief Jeremy Rahn. (Scroll down for earlier info.)
UPDATE 2:18 p.m. — Here’s a quick post we made aggregating various videos we’ve shot over the past day, along without our photos and some reader submitted photos. (scroll down for more info on fire status and evacuation areas.)
UPDATE 1:55 p.m. — CalFire has released a new fact sheet on both the River and Ranch fires. The command structure for fighting the two fires has been reclassified as the Mendocino Complex.
Here is their tweet their fact-sheet:
— CAL FIRE Mendocino (@CALFIRE_MEU) July 28, 2018
The new fact-sheet lists the same acerage totals for both fires as the morning sheet did, however both fires have made substantial runs, and the River Fire has expanded some much towards Lakeport that the entire city of Lakeport has been placed under and evacuation warning, and the areas west of the city have had a mandatory evacuation ordered. (Scroll down for details.)
UPDATE 1:30 p.m. — A mandatory evacuation has been issued for sections of Lake County west of SR-29 and around the City of Lakeport. Lake County sheriff’s deputies are beginning to evacuate those areas.
Both the Ranch and River Fires have become substantially more active in the past hour.
Here is the notices from the Lake County Sheriff’s Dept. with details on specific areas:
This is a MANDATORY EVACUATION Notice for the area west of State Route 29 in and around the City of Lakeport.The area to be evacuated includes all areas west of Hwy 29 between Highland Springs Road and 11th Street/Scotts Valley Road, and west to the Lake/Mendocino County Line.A shelter has been established at Mountain Vista Middle School in Kelseyville. Additional shelters will be announced as they become available.A Mandatory Evacuation means that you should leave immediately!
UPDATE 1:20 p.m. — Here’s the latest info about the evacuation centers. For residents of Mendocino County, there is a shelter established at the dance room at Mendocino College, at 1000 Hensley Creek Rd. The number for that center is: (707) 510-1556.
The non-emergency number for any fire information in Mendocino County is 707.467.6428, and information is available in both English and Spanish.
In Lake County, a shelter has been set up at the Mountain Vista Middle School in Kelseyville. Currently, the evacuations in Lake County are only advisory.
UPDATE 12:40 p.m. — An evacuation advisory has been issued in Lake County, from the Mendocino county line to Lakeport, and including Lakeport and the surrounding areas. This is an advisory, NOT a mandatory evacuation, at this time.The River Fire, which started on Old River Rd. between Talmage and Hopland has continued to spread east and is now approaching Lakeport.
Here is the full text of the message, which went out at about 12:35 p.m.:
Advisory Evacuation Notice for Lakeport & Surrounding Area The Lake County Sheriff’s Office & City of Lakeport Police Department are jointly issuing an Advisory Evacuation Notice to the entire City of Lakeport and the surrounding areas. Evacuation advisories are in effect from:
The Mendocino County line to to the west;
To the 3000 block of Scotts Valley Road and Park Way to the North;
To the shoreline of Clear Lake to the East;
To Highland Springs and Big Valley Road to the South.
This is an advisory evacuation message resulting from the River Fire crossing the County Line. A shelter has been established at Mountain Vista Middle School in Kelseyville.
At this time, an evacuation is recommended, however not required. The Lakeport Police Department and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office encourage those who are able to evacuate to consider doing so now. If you have somewhere you can go outside of the affected area, such as a friend or relatives home, we recommend doing so. We are inviting everyone to take preparations in the likely event a mandatory evacuation order is issued.
Preparations should include gathering all medications, important documents, making plans for pets, and notifying family members where you may be going. During a mandatory evacuation, it will be extremely hectic and traffic conditions will be very congested. By evacuating early, you do your part in keeping yourself, your neighbors, and our first responders safe.
As a reminder, this is not a mandatory evacuation at this time. In the event of a mandatory evacuation, further information will be provided.
UPDATE 12:06 p.m. — CalTrans has announced that Hwy. 175 between Hopland and Lakeport is closed, from Hopland to Mathews Rd.
UPDATE 11:00 a.m. — Here is the latest evacuation advisory for the Ranch Fire. It’s fairly large, but remember this is only an advisory, meaning that you should be prepared to evacuate, and vigilant, but that you do not currently need to evacuate. If you scroll down you’ll see an evacuation map for the River Fire, and an evacuation order for sections of Lake County affected by the River Fire.
And here is a more detailed PDF — it’s pretty big file so we’re linking rather than embedding.
And here is the latest evacuation map for the River Fire as published by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office at about 9:30:
Also, a reader pointed us to this handy map from the San Francisco Chronicle, which is quite detailed. It is not a map of evacuation areas but of the fires themselves. You may need to find the fires on the map, but they’re there.
UPDATE 8:35 a.m. — A mandatory evacuation order has just been issued for some areas of Lake County affected by the growing River Fire. The order reads:
Due to fire activity from the River Fire entering into Lake County overnight, residents in the Benmore Valley are ordered to evacuate now. An evacuation shelter has been established at the Mountain Vista Middle School in Kelseyville. Residents in this area should leave immediately as fire activity is likely to increase as temperatures rise and humidity drops throughout the day.
MENDOCINO Co., 7/28/18, 8:20 a.m. — Yesterday, at about noon, a fire was sparked along Hwy. 20 about a mile east of Potter Valley Rd. This fire, dubbed the Ranch Fire, quickly traveled north, up the hillside, and began moving east, towards Lake County. Local departments and CalFire hit this fire with a large amount of resources, but before substantial headway could be made, a new, more ferocious fire began about 10 miles to the south. The new fire, the River Fire sparked along Old River Rd. about seven miles south of Talmage, at about 1p.m. That fire grew very quickly, and within a couple hours all aircraft had been redirected off the Ranch Fire, onto the River Fire. (See yesterday’s complete coverage)
As we enter the second day of two major fires in Mendocino County, the Ranch Fire and the River Fire, here are the facts that CalFire has provided:
The River Fire has exploded up to 6000 acres, and CalFire is now recording 2% containment on it. The Ranch Fire has stands at 3500 acres also with 2% containment — it is moving mostly east, towards communities in Lake County, where there is a mandatory evacuation order in place. Seven firefighters have been injured, mostly heat related injuries, and no civilians have been injured. One residence has been destroyed. The River Fire is currently imperiling 300 structures, while the Ranch Fire is threatening 86.
There is no estimate now for when containment will be reached.
A mandatory evacuation order remains in effect for areas along Old River Rd., down to Hwy. 175. According to CalFire the specifics of that area are: From the “8000 block of River Road, South to the intersection of Highway 175 from the Russian River east to the Ridge above Highway 175, within the North South points. These evacuations also include all driveways and homes located between the North South points.”
Here is a map of that area that was under evacuation order and advisory as of 11:45 p.m. last night, according to the MCSO:
(Scroll down for a more detailed pdf of this map.)
A shelter for evacuees has been set up at Mendocino College, in the dance room, at 1000 Hensley Creek Rd. The number for that center is: (707) 510-1556.
The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has a non emergency phone line open, for people affected by the fire, it is: (707) 467-6428, y si llama este numero si se habla español.
Here is the morning fact-sheet from CalFire:MENDOCINO COMPLEX INCIDENT UPDATE 7-28-18 7 AM
Here is our minute by minute coverage of the fire from yesterday, which has lots of information:
A PDF of the evacuation area from last night:Evac-Map-Aerial-27-JUL
Adrian Fernandez Baumann, [email protected]