Mendocino Complex Fire Becomes Largest in California

As the eyes of the country remained on the devastating damage caused by the Carr Fire, the Mendocino Complex Fire quietly surpassed it to become the largest in California, now at 156,678 acres and 27 percent contained. The fire has now destroyed 104, including 55 homes, and still threatens 12,300 structures.

The Mendocino Complex is actually the term for the Ranch Fire and River Fire, which are two fires which started within an hour of each other last Friday and sit right beside each other in Lake and Mendocino Counties. There were conflicting reports that the large fires had merged into one, but that was disputed by CalFire on Friday.

The fires continue to blaze through the area that was already ravaged from wildfire earlier this year. Sitting on either side of Clear Lake, the fires are moving towards the scar of the Pawnee Fire which burned in in June and July.

“Both fires (Ranch and River) continued to remain active throughout the night. The Ranch fire made significant and rapid expansion to the east towards the Pawnee Fire scar,” CAL FIRE said in its Friday morning report. “Today Firefighters will continue to prep and defend structures along with construct primary and secondary control lines. Access and weather make many areas of the fire difficult to directly fight fire. Aircraft support will be utilized when weather and smoke visibility conditions permit.”

There are now 3,449 firefighters working on the fire, including 419 engines and 15 helicoptes. CalFire estimates both fires will be fully contained by Aug. 15. See the whole incident report from CalFire here.


The following are mandatory evacuations for Mendocino County:

  • SR CA-20 area from one mile south of SR CA-20, east of Potter Valley Road, south of the fire perimeter, and west of Mendocino-Lake County Line
  • Cow Mountain Area of Mendocino County (South of SR-20, west of the Mendocino/Lake County line, east of the intersection of North Cow Mountain Road and the Cow Mountain Access Road, and north of the current fire perimeter of the River Fire )


The following are mandatory evacuations for Lake County:

  • For the Lucerne, Pepperwood Grove, Paradise Valley, Glenhaven, and Clearlake
  • Oaks areas of Lake County: All areas north of Clear Lake, south and east of Bartlett Springs Road at Hwy 20, west of Bartlett Springs Road at the Indian Valley Reservoir, south to New Long Valley Road and Hwy 20 at Hwy 53
  • Western Lake County, north of Clear Lake and Bartlett Springs Road, east of the Lake- Mendocino County Line, south of the Ranch Fire, and Bartlett Springs Road
  • Bartlett Springs Road at Hwy 20, east along the National Forest boundary to High Valley Road, southeast to the 5 Star Fish Farm, southeast to the north side of Hwy 20, east to New Long Valley Road, extending north to the west side of the Indian Valley Reservoir, north to Bartlett Springs Road, east to the Lake-Colusa County Line, north along the Lake-Colusa County Line extending to Forest Service Road 18N40 (west of the Glenn County Line), and west to the western National Forest boundary in Lake County
  • Scotts Valley, Blue Lakes, Upper Lake, Bachelor Valley, and Nice
  • This includes High Valley Road, 5 Star Fish Farm, Round Mountain Road, New Long Valley Road, Old Long Valley Road, and Spring Valley Road
  • South of Bartlett Springs Road at Hwy 20, west of the Forest Boundary, including Pierce Canyon and High Valley Road, west of Sulpher Bank Drive at Hwy 20 and north of Clear Lake
  • West of SR 29 and north of Park Way


Evacuation centers have been set up at:

  • Mendocino College: Dance Room at 1000 Hensley Creek Road, Ukiah
  • Lower Lake High School: 9430 Lake Street, Lower Lake
  • Twin Pines Casino: 22223 CA-29, Middletown
  • Clearlake Senior Center: 3245 Bowers Avenue, Clearlake

Evacuation centers for animals have been set up at:

  • Redwood Riders Arena, 8300 East Road, Redwood Valley (accepting horses)
  • Animal Care, 298 Plant Road, Ukiah (accepting small animals)

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