Friday, 24 May 2024

Mendocino Forest reports on Yolla Bolla Wilderness fires

MENDOCINO NATIONAL FOREST – A lightning storm passed over the Mendocino National Forest on the afternoon of Wednesday, Aug. 29, sparking many fires, officials reported Thursday.


By 8 p.m. Wednesday, at least 13 fires were found in the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness and one fire, the Spanish Fire, was detected about seven miles west of Alder Springs between Spanish Ridge Road and Markham Ridge Road, according to forest officials.


The Spanish Fire was contained at approximately two acres as aerial resources assisted firefighters on the ground with several retardant drops to keep the fire from spreading, officials reported.


Resources assigned to the fire included three crews, three engines, one water tender, two air tankers, one helicopter and other support aircraft, the Thursday report noted. About 100 personnel worked to suppress the fire.


The Yolla Bolly Middle-Eel Wilderness is located in the northern section of the Mendocino National Forest and spans across the forest boundary with the Mendocino, Shasta Trinity and Six Rivers National Forests.


The steep rugged terrain makes access difficult, officials noted. Smokejumpers and helicopter rappel crews were dispatched to the 13 fires in the wilderness called the Yolla Bolly Complex.


Initially, aircraft and personnel could not reach the fires with thunder cells still lingering over the wilderness area. When the storm passed, the jumpers were dropped from aircraft near three separate fires.


US Forest Service fire managers have ordered additional resources, including hot shots, helicopters and smokejumpers to work on containing the fires in the Yolla Bolly Complex.


On Friday, the forecast was calling for a chance of thunderstorms, forest officials reported. There is a red flag warning in effect for hot temperatures and stronger southwest winds.


Aircraft and lookout personnel will be keeping an eye for new fires on Friday.


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