Sunday, 25 February 2024

Firefighter injured as work continues on Soda Complex

NORTH COAST – A firefighter working in the Mendocino National Forest was injured on Friday as efforts to contain the Soda Complex continue.


As of Saturday, the Soda Complex had burned 7,020 acres to the north and northwest of Lake Pillsbury, on the Mendocino National Forest's Upper Lake Ranger District.


Forest Service spokesman Brian LaMoure reported that late on Friday a firefighter was air evacuated at the end of the shift, complaining of chest pain. No further information on the firefighter's condition was available Saturday.


Containment on Saturday was at 78 percent, another slight rollback in progress for firefighters, according to LaMoure.


Two fires out of the original four in the complex, which began on June 21 due to lightning storms, continue to burn – the Mill Fire, at 1,600 acres, with estimated containment on July 16; and the Monkey Rock Fire, at 1,630 acres, with containment expected on July 14, LaMoure reported.


Also on Friday, the Mill Fire's northwest flank continued to spread, while resources patrolled the areas of the contained Big and Back fires, where LaMoure said smoke had been observed.


Officials urged caution for hunters in the forest, as archery season began on Saturday. Hunters are cautioned to be aware of road closures in the area and the presence of fire traffic.


Suppression costs for the Soda Complex so far are estimated at $6.8 million.


The Yolla Bolly Complex in the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness is now being managed as part of the Lime Complex. One of its largest fires, the Yellow, has burned more than 8,200 acres and has no estimate for containment. No other specifics on the complex were available late Saturday.


Mendocino County's lightning complex jumped to 85-percent containment at 53,200 acres burned, according to Cal Fire.


There are 2,102 firefighters continuing to work on the six remaining blazes in the complex, which originally had included a total of 127 fires, officials reported.


So far, there have been 42 injuries and one firefighter death in the Mendocino Lightning Complex, which Cal Fire reported has cost $33.1 million to fight.


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


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