NOTE: We are updating this page continually as the situation develops. Scroll down for the original details.
UPDATE 2:15 p.m. — Forward progress of all three small fires has been stopped, though mop up will continue for some time. CalFire is saying that the total acreage of all three combined was 8 acres. No official word on cause yet, though investigators have been seen on the scene.
UPDATE 1:10 p.m. — Here are a few videos taken by a reader at around 12:30 p.m. from Hwy. 101. As of now, the 101 remains open, though the number 2 lane of the northbound side may be closed.
Just passed the fire #willits #redwoodvalley pic.twitter.com/scIH72EYId
— KC (@k4545c) September 14, 2018
— KC (@k4545c) September 14, 2018
UPDATE 12:50 p.m. — There will likely be a partial closure of the number 2 lane of on the northbound side of the 101. However, the highway remains open to through traffic, just slowed down. The middle fire is now holding at around 8 acres, and though it is not clear that forward progress of the fire has been completely stopped, CalFire is now cancelling and recalling resources, including Sonoma-based air tankers — so the situation looks good.
Here is a picture of the scene Tweeted out by Unit Chief George Gonzalez of the CalFire Mendocino Unit:
Fire Personnel making excellent progress on the 3 fires on the 101 Grade near Reeves Cyn. pic.twitter.com/FodRYki0Ur
— George Gonzalez (@meuchief1100) September 14, 2018
UPDATE 12:40 p.m. — At this time Hwy. 101 remains open. There are emergency vehicles in the number 2 northbound lane, so watch out and drive careful, and there is a lot of slow traffic. But as of 12:30 p.m. there was no indication that the highway was closed.
The northern fire and southern fire have been contained. The middle one continues to grow very slowly, but firefighters have made a lot of progress and are close to containing that one as well. Tankers have been laying down retardant around the fire, slowing its growth significantly, and firefighters have quickly gotten into that area and laid down hose line.
CalFire is beginning to release air resources, which is a good sign.
UPDATE 12:15 p.m. — Of the three fires that have broken out along the Ridgewood Grade section of Hwy. 101, only the middle one is still growing. Scanner traffic indicates that that fire is now approaching the disused railroad tracks above the freeway. They say that if it jumps the tracks the fire has potential for 100 acres, and if it remains below the tracks 15 to 20 acres.
UPDATE 12:05 p.m. — The fire at the top of the Ridgewood Grade and the fire at the bottom have been contained and are being mopped up. The middle fire, which is burning uphill from the highway, towards the railroad tracks, is still growing, but an extensive air response is beginning to make progress against it.
UPDATE 12:00 p.m. — The fire near the base of the Ridgewood Grade, which is being called the Reeves Incident, has an asphalt road near it, making for a good fire break. However, the middle fire, being called (we believe) the Gold Incident, is burning uphill in brush and may already have jumped the derelict railroad track above the Hwy. 101.
Scanner traffic is also indicating that the Reeves Incident, at the bottom of the grade, has been contained.
UPDATE 11:55 a.m. — Two more fires have broken out along the Ridgewood Grade section of Hwy. 101 between Redwood Valley and Willits. There is now also a fire of about a half acre, burning apparently uphill from the freeway, about three miles north of Reeves Canyon. And there is yet another fire burning near the top of the grade, near the quarry.
MENDOCINO Co., 9/14/18 — A small vegetation fire has broken out near U.S. Route 101, in Redwood Valley, either at, or perhaps on Reeves Canyon Rd., according to scanner traffic. The fire is currently about 30 ft. by 300 ft. in size, with a slow rate of spread, and a light wind blowing.
CalFire air support has been dispatched to the fire, including a copter and tankers, the Redwood Valley Fire Department is also responding. The fire broke out at about 11:45 p.m.
We will continue to update.
If you have additional information about the fire, or pictures, feel free to email [email protected], or comment in the Facebook post.