Monday, 20 May 2024

Soda Complex's remaining fire jumps lines, burns more acreage

NORTH COAST – The last of the fires in the Soda Complex has made a large advancement in acreage, crossing containment lines and requiring the assistance of aircraft.

A dry lightning storm on June 21 triggered the Soda Complex to the north and northwest of Lake Pillsbury on the Mendocino National Forest's Upper Lake Ranger District, as Lake County News has reported.

The complex has burned 8,317 acres, with one of its four original fires – the Mill Fire – still burning and at 52-percent containment, according to Forest Service spokesman Marc Peebles.

On Tuesday, the Mill Fire jumped the containment lines on its southeastern portion, and continued burning in a northeasterly direction, Peebles reported. On the western and southwestern flanks the fire continues to be active, backing down towards Thomas Creek.

The fire is now at 2,728 acres burned – about 800 more acres since the last report – with fire crews working to reconstruct containment lines while they're aided by aircraft fighting the fire from above, Peebles said. Firefighters are using backfires to control the Mill Fire's spread.

Peebles said 455 personnel, 12 fire crews, 16 engines, three dozers, four water tenders and six helicopters continue to work on the Mill Fire, which is expected to be fully contained July 23.

Elsewhere on public lands, fires in the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness continue to burn aggressively, having burned 23,649 acres, 9,190 of which is burning in the Vinegar Fire located on the Mendocino National Forest, said Forest Service spokesperson Phebe Brown. The Vinegar Fire is only 25-percent contained.

Lake County Air Pollution Control Officer Bob Reynolds reported Wednesday that the county's air quality continues to improve as the fires die down, and that air quality measurements show that air should be in the good to moderate range.

In other regional fire news Wednesday, Mendocino County's lightning complex remained at 95-percent containment and 53,300 acres burned, according to Cal Fire. Approximately 2,292 firefighters remain assigned to the last three fires in the complex, which has cost more than $41 million to suppress.

For more information about the forest fires visit Forest Service Web site at or For information about other fires around the state, visit

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


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