MENDOCINO Co., 8/21/21 — Firefighters responded to at least five small wildfires this week during a tense three-day period from Tuesday to Thursday night when hot and windy conditions prompted the National Weather Service (NWS) to announce a Red Flag Warning for most of Northern California. In each case a quick response from emergency personnel contained the fire before it could achieve substantial spread. To the best of our knowledge at The Mendocino Voice, no injuries or deaths were reported and no structures were lost.
Meanwhile, our neighbors had a very rough Wednesday in Lake County, however, where the Cache Fire started at the south end of Clearlake and wiped out 108 structures — including 56 homes. One injured person was transported out of county by helicopter for medical care, but no fatalities were reported and so far no one has been reported missing. Lake County Fire Protection District board chair Jacqueline Snyder said that as of Saturday morning the fire was holding at 83 acres with containment at 60 percent, up 10 percent from the previous day. Emergency personnel hope to lift the last evacuations still in place by 5 p.m. Sunday.
“Things are looking good on the lines today,” Snyder said in an email. “The crews were able to accomplish a lot overnight on the lines and in terms of continued mop up, they were feeling good about it this morning. “
Here at home, things started off with a downed power line just south of Fort Bragg around 7:30 p.m Tuesday. Emergency personnel at the scene reported a potentially fatal threat from the electrical equipment. Social media users nearby indicated the fire was put out shortly after ignition. About a dozen utility customers lost electrical service, according to Pacific Gas and Electric.
Then around 4 a.m. Wednesday the Timber Fire, a small wildland fire in the 3100 block of Sherwood Road in Brooktrails, threatened some structures and prompted evacuations and widespread emergency alerts as far away as Fort Bragg. Firefighters stopped forward progress by 5:33 a.m., and there were no injuries reported or structures lost. The size of the fire was estimated at three to five acres. The emergency alerts seem to have been widely received, however, which led to some anger. One Mendocino Voice reader told newsroom staff they had been woken up and frightened for the safety of their family despite being an estimated 40 miles away from the fire.
That afternoon the Gobbi Fire, which started in the 200 block of E. Gobbi St. in Ukiah, was estimated at roughly a half-acre. It was fully contained by 2:35 p.m., within minutes of the initial response. Scanner traffic indicated that one structure had been threatened at least one structure was evacuated, but no damage or injuries were reported. The Hog Farm IC, a slow-moving half-acre grassfire burning near U.S. Highway 101 north of Laytonville in the vicinity of Black Oak Ranch, and another small fire in the Talmadge area East of Ukiah — were both under control by 9:45 p.m.
Fire weather has dissipated, but the air quality still sucks in most of Mendocino County. The NWS Eureka office of reported in a tweet Monday that winds are pushing smoke south major fires outside Mendocino County, like the 145,357-acre Monument Fire and the 116,423-acre McFarland Fire burning in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Fire and Smoke Map showed clear skies along the coast Saturday morning, with moderate air quality in Ukiah and Willits. Smoky conditions should be expected everywhere east of U.S. Highway 101. You can check out the map for yourself at https://fire.airnow.gov/.