Editor’s note: Due to the outages internet speeds are very slow, though we’re not sure the specific reason why. As a result we are drastically limiting the number of photos and videos in this post. We will put photos on Facebook instead.
UPDATE 5:10 p.m. — MCSO has cancelled the evacuation, everyone can return to their homes, according to the most recent alert. However, East Side Road between Mitomki and Valley Road are currently only open to residents due to the ongoing fire response. The exact size of the fire is only an estimate but has been controlled at between 1/8 of an acre and one acre in size.
UPDATE 5 p.m. — The fire is approximately one acre and is under control, according to Cal Fire’s Public Information Officer Tricia Austin. The fire burned through or damaged several structures — which may be either houses or outbuildings — but a quick response from local fire crews have subdued the blaze.
UPDATE 4:30 p.m. — The Sheriff’s Office has downgraded the evacuation order to a warning. For those of you who can’t see the photo due to slow internet access, the area under a warning is roughly from the end fo Valley Rd. where it meats Eastside Rd. all the way to Mitomki Rd. and then east into the hills about a mile and a half.
UPDATE 4:13 p.m. — The fire is now being called the “East Fire.” Additionally there is a major accident near the Hopland fire station on U.S. Route 101, so expect delays there
UPDATE 4:05 p.m. — The Sheriff’s Office has revised their evacuation order and is now saying that the order pertains only to the area of:
“Eastside Rd area, and Mitomki areas only, other area disregard.”
Again, if you are in Willits or west of Eastside Rd. the new message is saying to DISREGARD the evacuation order. It appears that the initial Nixle evacuation order was sent to a larger number of people over a larger area than necessary. Still, the fire continues to burn in that area with Cal Fire making helicopter drops, and it is always good to be vigilant.
UPDATE 3:55 p.m. — The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has issued an evacuation order for areas of the Little Lake Valley saying:
“There is a wildfire in your area. Please evacuate at this time. From Mitomki Rd. head S on Eastside Rd. from Valley Rd, head west to Hwy 10 [sic]”
Two tanker airplanes are circling the fire and making drops, and the 101 copter was also in the vicinity. Additionally the Air Attack control plane is circling overhead.
MENDOCINO Co., 10/29/19 — A small brush fire that began in the vicinity of the 22600 block of East Side Road in Willits has spread into a structure, and firefighters and several engines from Little Lake Valley Fire and neighboring departments are responding. There is also a helicopter and bomber conducting attack by air, and “hitting it pretty hard,” according to Michelle Schnitzius at LLFD.
Crews were requesting an additional water tender to be safe from Brooktrails Fire, but Schnitzius that it appeared as if the fire was getting under control. As of 3:35 p.m., reports indicate that the smoke plume has died down. This is a developing situation and we will update with more information as soon it is becomes available.