Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Winds challenge firefighters on Yolla Bolly Complex

MENDOCINO NATIONAL FOREST – Strong gusty winds Friday challenged firefighters and firelines that have been built on the Mendocino National Forest's  , according to a Saturday report from Forest Service officials.


The complex is located about 20 air miles northeast of Covelo in the Yolla Bolly Middle-Eel Wilderness. Of the 10 fires that make up the complex, six are contained and firefighters continue to work on reaching containment on the others.


Another new fire was confirmed Friday morning within the complex, according to the report from Punky Moore, the forest spokesperson.


More accurate mapping by firefighters on the ground has reduced the The Yolla Bolly Complex to 85 acres with 30 percent containment.


The largest fire in the complex, Moore reported, is the Sugarloaf Fire near Sugarloaf Mountain in the south central part of the wilderness. It is about 45 acres and has 100 personnel assigned.


Moore reported that firefighting efforts include reinforcing existing line, building line around uncontained fires, suppressing smoldering debris and patrolling areas to ensure no fire is lingering that may flare up again. Helicopters will assist firefighters by dropping water on areas of fire that have potential to grow and are difficult to reach.


The first priority on the Yolla Bolly Complex, according to Moore, is providing firefighter and public safety.


As such, a temporary flight restriction is in place for a 10 mile radius around the fire area. Visitors to the forest need be aware of fire activity that may influence their vacation and hunting plans.


However, Moore noted that there are no closures in place for the complex. Many areas of the forest are not affected by fire suppression activities; however, it is recommended that visitors planning a trip to the forest call one of our offices for current information before venturing out.


More than 150 personnel and three helicopters are committed to the Yolla Bolly incident, Moore reported. Additional resources have been ordered.


Officials are keeping their eyes out for new fires resulting from lightning strikes several days ago, said Moore; she added it's isn't unusual to find such fires days later.


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