MENDOCINO Co., 10/8/23 — Today marks six years since the Redwood Complex Fires began late at night in Redwood Valley and Potter Valley, fires that began with downed power lines on a windy night and led to nine lives lost, thousands of acres burned and the loss of hundreds of homes in the deadliest fires in Mendocino County’s recorded history.
Since then, Mendocino County residents have marked the passing of the anniversary and worked together to rebuild, as well as advocated for improving emergency response strategies to ensure that residents are able to evacuate more safely in future wildfires.
Our staff at The Mendocino Voice reported on the wildfires that evening and in the days and weeks that followed — as well as many since — and we want to recognize the efforts undertaken by residents, emergency responders, and local officials to commemorate the tragedy of those fires, rebuild our communities and improve emergency preparedness and response efforts in the years since.
This year, county officials issued a statement to “reflect upon the tragedy of the Redwood Complex Fire, honoring the memory of its victims and acknowledging the unwavering bravery exhibited by the brave first responders who selflessly served the Redwood Valley and Potter Valley communities.”
You can read the full statement below:
Sunday, October 8, 2023, signifies the somber commemoration of the sixth year since the harrowing 2017 Redwood Complex Fire. The fire began on October 8, 2017, in northeastern Potter Valley before merging with another fire that began on October 9, 2017, in Redwood Valley. The fire burned over 36,000 acres, destroyed nearly 350 residences, forced 8,000 residents to evacuate, and, most tragically, claiming the lives of nine individuals.
On this day, CEO Darcie Antle, Sheriff Matt Kendall, and the Office of Emergency Services reflect upon the tragedy of the Redwood Complex Fire, honoring the memory of its victims and acknowledging the unwavering bravery exhibited by the brave first responders who selflessly served the Redwood Valley and Potter Valley communities.
The 2017 Redwood Complex Fire left an indelible mark on Mendocino County, with its impacts enduring to the present day.Press release from County of Mendocino, October 6, 2023