Monday, 15 July 2024

Work continues on Mendocino National Forest fires

MENDOCINO NATIONAL FOREST – Among the major firefighting efforts continuing around the North Coast are those in the Mendocino National Forest, where about 3,000 acres have burned in a series of 54 lightning-cased fires that began last weekend.

Forest spokesperson Phebe Brown reported Wednesday that the fires – now about 20-percent contained – are estimated to be fully contained by June 30. Of the 54 reported fires, 12 are contained, six are controlled and nine are in patrol status.

Brown said six fires are staffed and 13 have no personnel on them currently, with three of the fires burning together.

The majority of the acreage burning is on the Upper Lake Ranger District, said Brown.

The largest of the fires is the Back, located southwest of Lake Pillsbury, which has burned 1,800 acres and is 42-percent contained, said Brown. Also in Lake County is the Big Fire, west of Lake Pillsbury, which has scorched 850 acres and has zero containment.

Other major fires across the forest are the Monkey Rock Fire in the Yuki Wilderness, at 50 acres with 0-percent containment, and the Mill Fire, which has burned 40 acres and also has no current containment level, according to Brown.

Brown reported that two structures were destroyed in the Big Fire in Lake County. Another 40 structures are threatened across the entire forest. No evacuations are in place.

The fires are burning in 6-foot chaparral, oak woodlands, grass, timber and mixed conifer across the forest's three ranger districts in Lake, Mendocino and Tehama counties, Brown reported.

Resources committed to the fires currently include 410 personnel, among them 10 fire crews, from the US Forest Service, Cal Fire, US Fish and Wildlife, Bureau of Indian Affairs and private contractors, according to Brown.

On scene are 28 engines, three bulldozers, seven water tenders, five helicopters and fire support personnel, Brown reported. An Interagency Incident Management Team arrived Wednesday to assist in managing the fires on the Upper Lake District.

No injuries have been reported, according to Brown.

There is no current cost estimate for fighting the fire.

Due to the fire, Brown said Elk Mountain Road (M-1) at the Bear Creek Road (M-10) junction and near Soda Creek has been closed by Lake County due to fire activity associated with the Back


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