Close up look at Cal Fire plane dropping fire retardant on River Fire
New evacuation advisories and orders were issued overnight for parts of Lake and Colusa counties threatened by the growing Mendocino Complex fires. The complex comprises the River and Ranch fires, which had reached 153,738 acres as of 7 a.m. Friday.
Around 10:30 a.m., mandatory evacuation orders were issued for residents in the Lucerne, Glenhaven and Clearlake Oaks areas along the northeast shore of Clear Lake. Those areas combined have more than 5,000 residents, according to census data.
Residents are advised to immediately leave the area traveling south, the Lake County Sheriff’s Department said in a Nixle alert. Evacuated residents are being directed to a staging area at the Twin Pines Casino in Middletown for further directions, the alert said.
Damage from the fire includes 41 residences destroyed, and 9,200 structures remain threatened, according to an update from Cal Fire. Crews had reached 30 percent containment on the complex.
Both fires actively burned through the night, with the Ranch Fire expanding rapidly eastward toward the site where the Pawnee Fire burned in Lake County in late June and early July, a Mendocino National Forest incident update said. Access and weather conditions challenge responders’ ability to directly fight fires, and visibility conditions from smoke dictate where aircraft support can be deployed, the update said.
Parts of Lake County and the Mendocino National Forest were ordered to evacuate an area along the forest boundary as of 9:30 p.m. Thursday, the Mendocino National Forest Unit said. For full evacuation details, visit the Medocino Complex Fire Incident Information page.
Evacuation warnings are now in place for western Colusa County. This includes the area east of the Lake-Colusa County Line (Bartlett Springs Road/Brim Road) to Leesville-Lodoga Road, north to Lodoga, west to the National Forest boundary, north along the National Forest boundary to the Colusa-Glenn County Line and west to the Colusa-Lake County Line.
Western Lake County had its advisory upgraded to a mandatory evacuation for the area west of Lucerne at Bartlett Springs Road and Highway 20, south of the fire, east of the fire, north of Clear Lake including the communities of Blue Lakes, Upper Lake, Nice, Lakeport, Witter Springs, Bachelor Valley, Scotts Valley and Saratoga Springs, according to a Mendocino National Forest incident update.