Monday, 15 July 2024

Firefighters slow growth of Soda Complex

MENDOCINO NATIONAL FOREST – Firefighters held the advance of the Soda Complex of fires to only 20 acres of growth on Saturday, with the amount of containment remaining steady.

The fires, which have burned 8,381 acres on the Mendocino National Forest's Upper Lake Ranger District near Lake Pillsbury, remained at 79-percent containment Saturday, according to a Saturday report from Forest Service spokesman Marc Peebles.

The Mill Fire, the last and largest of the complex's four fires, has burned 2,772 acres, Peebles reported. Its estimated full containment date is this coming Wednesday.

Peebles reported that 744 firefighters under the command of Southern California Incident Management Team No. 3 – based at Upper Lake High School – are fighting the Mill fire as well as continuing patrol on the areas of the other fires that already have been contained – the Monkey Rock, Big and Back fires.

On Friday, the Mill Fire once again got past containment lines, burning 150 acres to the southeast and northeast of the fire, Peebles said. Several spot fires also have occurred.

Peebles said six residences – located between Deadmans Flat and Sunset Gap to the east flank of the fire – are under evacuation at this time, which the Lake and Mendocino County Sheriff’s offices coordinating evacuations.

Also on the Mendocino National Forest, the Vinegar Fire – which is in the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness – has burned 10,235 acres and is 30-percent contained, according to Forest Service spokesperson Phebe Brown.

The Vinegar Fire is part of the Lime Complex, which has burned 25,558 acres in Trinity and Tehama counties, Brown reported.

Lake County's air looked murkier in some areas again on Saturday, as smoke continued to come into the northern part of the county from the Mendocino Lightning Complex, which was contained on Thursday.

Doug Gearhart, Lake County's deputy air pollution control officer, said air quality should be back in the good range by Sunday.

Gearhart said smoke will likely continue in the county until all of the fires around Northern California are finally out.

Cal Fire reported Saturday that of the approximately 2,093 fires that had raged across the state at the peak of this past month's deluge of wildfires, 38 are still actively burning.

In all, those fires have burned 926,427 acres, Cal Fire reported.

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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