Monday, 04 March 2024

Firefighters contain Ukiah-area blaze

UKIAH – After a day of aggressive work on the ground and in the air, firefighters contained a Ukiah-area fire on Tuesday evening.

The Sheppard Fire, located in the Spanish Canyon and the Oak Knoll area outside of Ukiah, burned 105 acres after it was sparked Monday afternoon, as Lake County News as reported.

Cal Fire reported that the fire was 100-percent contained at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

There were no injuries reported and no structure loss, according to Cal Fire spokesperson Tracy Boudreaux.

She noted that several structures had been in “potentially devastating conditions.”

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Boudreaux said.

Success in containing the fire quickly was credited to rapid response of aircraft, fire crews and homeowners keeping defensible space around their homes, Boudreaux said.

More than 325 firefighters were involved in the incident, including engines and overhead – or leadership – positions from out of county, Boudreaux reported.

Boudreaux said crews came from Cal Fire's Mendocino Unit, Ukiah Valley Fire, Ukiah City Fire, Redwood Valley/Calpella Fire, Hopland Fire Protection District, Potter Valley Fire, Brook Trails Fire, Little Lake Fire Protection District, Long Valley Fire Protection District, Comptche Fire, Albion Little River Fire, Mendocino Fire Protection District, Fort Bragg Fire, three office of Emergency Services engines staffed by Mendocino County local fire agencies, and the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office and the California Highway Patrol.

West winds on Monday night carried smoke from the fire into Lake County.

Lake County Air Pollution Control Officer Doug Gearhart said Tuesday that there were several hours on Monday night when there were measurable impacts from the smoke on local air quality, but those issues clear up.

Much of the initial smoke moving into Lake County on Monday remained elevated, only mixing to the ground late in the afternoon as the west winds subsided, Gearhart noted.

The smoke primarily impacted Northshore communities and the Mendocino National Forest, with residual smoke dispersing though the Lake County air basin late in the evening and overnight, he said.

On Tuesday, there were no measurable impacts on air quality from the Sheppard Fire's smoke, although in some areas minor smoke impacts might have been visible or noticeable, Gearhart 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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