Monday, 26 February 2024

Firefighters battling Ukiah area blaze; winds bring smoke to Lake County

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED AT 9:50 P.M.


UKIAH – Hundreds of firefighters have been called in to fight a Ukiah area blaze that is putting out thick smoke that the wind is carrying into Lake County's air basin.


The Sheppard Fire started shortly before 3:30 p.m. Monday, according to Cal Fire spokesperson Tracy Boudreaux.


By 9:30 p.m. Monday the fire had grown to 105 acres in size, with 60-percent containment, Boudreaux reported.


Boudreaux said the fire is believed to have started in the area of 3630 Robinson Creek Road, cross of Highway 253 in Ukiah. The fire is in the west hills, in the area of Spanish Canyon and Oak Knoll.


“We're hitting it pretty hard with air tankers right now,” Boudreaux said early Monday evening, nothing there have been “spotting problems” with the fire.


More than 300 firefighters were on scene by the end of Monday, along with five air tankers, one helicopter, one water tender, four hand crews, three bulldozers and 18 engines on scene, Boudreaux said.


“We drew all of the closest engines to jump on this right away,” she said.


Cal Fire resources also have been called in from out of the county, she added.


Earlier in the day, structures were reported to be threatened in the immediate area. By by Monday night Boudreaux said the threat to the structures was minimal – unless the weather changed Tuesday.


No evacuations were in force, although Boudreaux said some people were asked not to return to their residences while firefighters are working earlier in the afternoon.


Later in the evening Boudreaux said all area roads had been opened up, some to residents only and others – like Boonville Road – to the public at large.


Boudreaux said more aircraft and hand crews are expected to be on scene on Tuesday.


The cause of the fire remains under investigation, according to Boudreaux.


“We haven't even had a chance to get to the origin,” she said.


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

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