This is a developing situation and information may change. We’ll update this article as more information becomes available. The most recent information will be updated at the top of the article, with the earlier reports below.
UPDATE 8/28/23 — The Golden fire is 50% contained as of this morning, according to an update from Cal Fire Mendocino, and fire crews will be continuing to work on the fire on suppression efforts and to increase containment over the next several days. The fire reached 11.54 acres before forward progress was stopped, according to the most recent official estimate.
Here’s the announcement from Cal Fire Mendocino:
“#GoldenFire Incident Update: 11.54 acres & 50% Containment. Quick action by air and ground resources kept this to 11.54 acres. 2 fire engines and 2 hand crew will be on site today. Firefighters will also be in the area over the next several days.”
UPDATE 4 p.m. — Forward progress has been stopped and additional resources have been released. Here’s some photos of the fire sent by reader Veronica Stevenson:
UPDATE 2:10 p.m. — Additional resources are being released from the Golden fire, and current estimates via the scanner put the size of the fire closer to 12 acres than the 25 previously estimated. A more limited air attack is ongoing.
UPDATE 1:50 p.m. — The fire has reached approximately 25 – 30 acres in size, but “is looking pretty good right now,” according to scanner traffic, and a few resources are being released from the scene.
UPDATE 1:45 p.m. — Additional water tenders are on their way to the fire, and one lane may be closed to control traffic on Highway 101 near the fire. Drivers are reminded to avoid the area if possible while firefighting efforts are underway. According to scanner traffic, there has been a three car collision — minor damage and no injuries — in the vicinity of the fire.
UPDATE 1:30 p.m. — Traffic controls may be implemented in the vicinity of the entrance to Golden Rule/Ridgewood Ranch exit on Highway 101, and traffic is backing up in the area. Please avoid the area if possible to allow emergency crews to access the fire.
UPDATE 1:21 p.m. — The fire is reported to be at least five acres and fire crews report that the fire seems to be “holding near the railroad tracks,” according to scanner traffic. Multiple fire crews from around the area are responding and an air attack is also underway. The fire is visible on a number of public wildfire cameras, including the Laughlin Ridge 2 camera here.
WILLITS, 8/27/23 — Fire crews are currently responding to a vegetation fire, called the “Golden fire,” at U.S. Highway 101 south of Willits near the Ridgewood grade, and the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has issued a Nixle alert requesting situational awareness. Fire crews are responding now.
Traffic may be impacted, please avoid the area if necessary.
Here’s the Nixle:
Situational Awareness: Wildfire in the Willits area, along Highway 101 near Ridgewood Ranch at MM 39, No further action needed at this time, Use caution and avoid the area. We will publish updates to mendoready.org as more information becomes available.