Friday, 24 May 2024

Hot temperatures create tough conditions for firefighters

MENDOCINO NATIONAL FOREST – The blistering temperatures felt around the county so far this week have made firefighting more challenging on wildland blazes around the North Coast and in the area's National Forests lands.


Despite increased fire activity caused by warming daytime and nighttime temperatures, crews have continued making good progress in constructing fire lines on the Soda Complex, according to a report from Forest Service spokesman Brian LaMoure.


The complex is located on the Mendocino National Forest's Upper Lake Ranger District, to the north and northwest of Lake Pillsbury. It has burned 6,080 acres and is 76-percent contained. The fires are located in both Lake and Mendocino counties, and began June 21 when lightning storms hit the area.


LaMoure reported that the Soda Complex has two active fires – the Mill, 900 acres and 50-percent contained, which is expected to be contained on Thursday; and the 1,390-acre Monkey Rock Fire, which is 25-percent contained, with full containment expected on July 15.


A red flag warning will be in effect for the fire area from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday due to hot, dry conditions, which are expected to extend throughout the rest of the week, according to LaMoure.


Another complex of lightning-caused fires in the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness has burned 7,987 acres in Mendocino, Trinity and Tehama counties, and is 65-percent contained, according to Forest Service spokesperson Mary Christensen. Full containment is anticipated July 30.


Officials reported there are 504 firefighters working on both fire complexes, where there have been a total of four injuries reported – three for the Soda Complex, one for the Yolla Bolly.


Total fire suppression costs to date are $5.68 million for the Soda Complex, while the Yolla Bolly is estimated at $1.45 million, LaMoure reported.


Also on Tuesday, Cal Fire reported that Mendocino County's lightning complex had grown to 51,200 acres burned, with 60-percent containment. Estimated suppression costs are at $25.1 million.


For more information about the forest fires visit Forest Service Web site at www.fs.fed.us/r5/mendocino. For information about other fires around the state, visit www.cdf.ca.gov.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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