Mendocino Complex Information, 10 a.m.

Release Date: Aug 5, 2018  

Contact(s): Punky Moore

WILLOWS, Calif. — The Ranch Fire remained active overnight, spreading northward toward Lake Pillsbury and east toward Stonyford.  As of 6 a.m. on August 5, 2018, the Ranch Fire is estimated at 207,319 acres and 23 percent contained. The River Fire is 47,663 acres and 58 percent contained.

River Fire:  Containment lines have been completed between Scotts Valley Road and Blue Lake/ Highway 20. On Sunday, crews will use tactical firing as necessary to remove vegetation between the active fire’s edge and the containment line. Firefighters will continue to improve and patrol completed containment lines around the fire.

Ranch Fire:  Firefighters initiated dozer line overnight from the Eel River northeast toward Elk Mountain Road to protect the residences around Lake Pillsbury, and to attempt to keep the fire out of the Pine Mountain Project. The fire slowed around Little Round Mountain as of this morning. Fire crews will continue to improve that line today. 

Opportunities to build indirect fire line (containment line built ahead of the fire’s active edge) were scouted on the northeastern side of the fire. Steep, rugged terrain and prevalent winds through drainages will continue to result in active fire behavior again today. 

Crews will continue to work on dozer lines along the Stonyford-Lodoga Road and around the community of Stonyford.  On the southeastern side of the fire, favorable visibility allowed aircraft to reduce fire spread with retardant, giving firefighters on the ground an opportunity to create dozer line down the eastern edge of Bear Valley. The fire has burned into the burn scar of the 2018 Pawnee Fire.  The east-southeastern edges of the fire were the most active, again growing over 30,000 acres in 24 hours. Spot fires were observed over one mile ahead of the main fire.

Active fire behavior was observed around the communities of the eastern side of Clear Lake. The focus again will be to create buffer zones around these communities, to assess and protect structures, and to build line directly on the fire’s edge as it is safe to do so.

A strong high pressure system over the southwestern United States will start to weaken today, allowing several weak systems to pass through the area over the weekend. While this may result in some mildly cooler temperatures, daytime highs will still remain slightly above normal. Dry conditions are expected to persist, and may even heighten somewhat in between systems. Winds are predicted to remain normal for this time of year, with up-slope, up-canyon winds changing to down-slope after dark.  Another warming trend is expected to begin on Monday.  

Smoke is expected to remain heavy throughout the region, especially in the areas east and south of the Ranch Fire. Air quality monitors are being installed today throughout the fire area.