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Willits Unified and Laytonville Unified schools are closed today, due to fire conditions. Across the state, there have been 19 fatalities and 3,900 structures burned so far. UPDATE 9/9/20, 8:30 p.m. — U.S. Route 101 has been reopened to traffic in both directions north of Willits, CalTrans announced around 8:30 p.m. Progress on the Oak Fire which burned north of Brooktrails and into the canyon through which the 101 runs, has been substantial and containment is now at 25%, though the fire … Evacuation orders were lifted Thursday evening and by Friday morning the evacuation sites at Willits High School and Baechtel Grove Middle School had been closed. Climate change is considered a key driver of this trend. However, Caltrans reports that 101 is still closed this morning. Additional fire personnel and new evacuations went out due to east and north wind shifts at approximately 1 p.m. CAL FIRE Mendocino Unit, Willits, California. For the last few days, the Oak Fire was estimated to be approximately 850 acres, but the Cal Fire Incident Update posted in the evening of Thursday, Sept. 10 described a much different story. Give your home the best chance The fire sparked about five miles north of the City of Willits and west of Highway 101 just after noon on Monday, Sept. 7 and quickly grew in size. So far only two structures have been confirmed to be destroyed, however that number may increase when the Damage Inspection Team is able to safely survey the entire area. Oak Fire damage and acreage increase as access…, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Oak Fire damage and acreage increase as access becomes available, Coronavirus: Another day of triple-digit deaths in California as cases reach record high, NFIP offers protection from potential mudflow losses, Map: The five California regions for coronavirus stay-at-home orders, Mendocino County Superior Court requests public comment on implementation of e-filing, CHP: Woman, toddler missing after crash in northern Mendocino County, Mendocino County officials urge residents, businesses to follow health orders, Opinion: Local heroes in Mendocino County. The August Complex fire, which stands at almost 750,000 acres with 24 percent containment, is burning east of Covelo and is now the largest in California history. The fire sparked about five miles north of the City of Willits and west of Highway 101 just after noon on Monday, Sept. 7 and … Fire crews from Cal Fire Mendocino County prepare to protect structures along Highway 101 north of Willits, Monday, Sept. 7, 2020 as the Oak fire burns nearly 1,000 acres. UPDATE, 9/10/20, 9:20 p.m. — In today’s evening update Cal Fire noted that the Oak Fire had grown to 1100 acres despite better conditions. WILLITS (CBS SF) — Cal Fire reported a new wildfire north of Willits Monday afternoon and the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office immediately ordered evacuations, fearing the wind-driven flames could quickly spread to homes. 2020 Fire Season Outlook Since the beginning of the year, wildfires have burned over 4 million acres in California. The Oak Fire which began about noon today northwest of Willits is now 1,000 acres and has completely closed U.S. Highway 101 in both directions. It … The fire has since exploded to 163,138 acres in size and is 0% contained, according to Cal Fire’s latest update on September 9 at 1:50 p.m. According to the most recent update, fire crews have a solid containment line around the fire and are beginning … Total resources assigned to the Oak Fire as of Thursday evening included 78 engines, 22 water tenders, 6 helicopters, 18 hand crews, 40 dozers, and support crew, for a total of 810 personnel. Containment stands at 35 percent as “favorable fire fighting conditions continued,” said the Cal Fire Update. The thick smoke layer from the August Complex fire, burning east of Covelo, combined with the Oak Fire brought a darkness over the land and grounded aircraft. Locals reported that all of the hotels in Willits and on the Fort Bragg coast quickly became occupied. However, as the skies cleared and containment progressed, new assessment have been made. The Oak fire near Willits in Mendocino County has grown to 1,100 acres, Cal Fire said, and crews have increased containment to 40% as of Friday morning. and eventually put her health and fitness background to good use in a wellness column. And, while the highway has been reopened, as of press time, all Brooktrails residents are still evacuated. Portions of Round Valley east of the City of Covelo are under evacuation orders and the west has been warned to be prepared to evacuate at a moments notice. UPDATE: U.S. Highway 101 remains closed in the Willits area due to the Oak Fire, which started yesterday. Due to hundreds of home are being threatened, more fire support in the form of Type 1 teams and heavy equipment were recently called in to help put out the fire once and for all. On the positive side, Cal Fire is reporting that firefighters have been able to hold the west portion of the August Fire nearest Covelo, new resources are on the way, and rain is in the forecast next week. For the last few days, the Oak Fire was estimated to be approximately 850 acres, but the Cal Fire Incident Update posted in the evening of Thursday, Sept. 10 described a much different story. She learned the craft from the ground up as a proof reader and photo editor. But, thanks to an inversion layer setting in on the second night, the fire slowed and was able to be contained. CAL FIRE MEU - Information on: Fires, incidents, events, training and other items of … Aura Whittaker has been in the newspaper business for about a decade. The Oak Fire near Willits remained at 836 acres and 10 percent containment, according to the Wednesday morning update from CalFire. UPDATE 11:30am – Two fires in Mendo: 4500ac. All of the usual suspects – wind, low humidity, dry fuel, and lack of resources – made the fire hard to manage at first and forced the closure of Highway 101 north of Willits. Stay updated as Cal Fire firefighters work to contain them, see wildfire maps, get damage reports and more. The Oak Fire started just after noon on Labor Day, Sept. 7, and quickly grew due to windy, dry conditions. [UPDATE 9:49 p.m.: Video of Burning Vehicles, Route Around the 101 Closure] Oak Fire Near Willits Closes Hwy 101 September 7, 2020 Kym Kemp 104 comments Smoke towering over Willits as evacuees flee the Oak Fire. At least two structures have been destroyed. The Oak Fire was a wildfire that burned north of Brooktrails in Mendocino County, California in the United States. The Oak Fire started just after noon on Labor Day, Sept. 7, and quickly grew due to windy, dry conditions. The incident location is stated as 5 miles north of Willits, west of Highway 101, near the intersection of Big John and eventually put her health and fitness background to good use in a wellness column. The most recent Cal Fire Incident Update stated that the Oak Fire was being managed by 35 fire engines, 19 water tenders, two helicopters, 10 hand crews, 25 dozers, and 68 support staff, for a total of 419 personnel on site. An Evacuation Center was promptly set up at Willits High School with the help of the Red Cross, and is being managed by Willits Unified School District staff. Being ready for wildfire starts with maintaining an adequate defensible space and hardening your home with fire resistant-building materials. Due to the unique conditions, fire personnel could only estimated the fire to be approximately 850 acres in size and confirm that two structures had been destroyed. “Crews will continue to work towards the interior of the fire creating more depth around the control lines. Read breaking news on current fires spreading in Northern California and around the state. Learn about wildfire incidents near you and how to prepare. The fire has jumped big john road evacuation order for north and east of Big John Rd in Willits this is in addition to original messages sent. Residents are advised to stay indoors, wear masks and wait patiently. The Oak Fire was reported at 12:16 p.m. off Big John Road about five miles north of downtown Willits. Shortly thereafter an evacuation center was set up at Willits High School. Pets and livestock were evacuated to the Willits High School Ag Farm and the Willits Horsemen’s Arena. The fire was first reported on September 7, 2020 and was contained on September 14, 2020. 21K likes. No injuries or fatalities have been reported. At 7:05 a.m., they updated their Facebook page. It is 24% contained. Locals reported that all of the hotels in Willits and on the Fort Bragg coast quickly became occupied. Our Mission It is the mission of the Willits Volunteer Fire Department to service and protect the citizens of the City of Willits and the Little Lake Fire Protection District from all threats to life and property resulting from fire, … Pets and livestock were evacuated to the Willits High School Ag Farm and the Willits Horsemen’s Arena. Holiday Safety Tips Ready for Wildfire Being Ready for wildfire starts with maintaining an adequate defensible space and by hardening your home by using fire resistant building materials. She learned the craft from the ground up as a proof reader and photo editor. View our holiday safety tip resources below to learn more. in Redwood Valley, 1500ac. “U.S. The smoke plume is clearly visible from Willits. Officials have begun to coordinate a repopulation plan while also keeping an eye on the wind predictions, because the wind makes all the difference in the direction a fire moves. Highway 101 remains completely closed north of Willits as firefighters continue to battle the Oak Fire burning near the Brooktrails area of Mendocino County. Aura Whittaker has been in the newspaper business for about a decade. According to Cal Fire, in California there are at least 14,800 firefighters currently battling 28 wildfires that in total have burned more than 3.1 million acres. As of Sept. 7, the Oak Fire is estimated to have burned 1,100 acres, destroyed 25 structures and damaged an additional 20 structures. Oak Fire Burn Zone / Evacuation Areas Near Willits Holiday Safety Tips CAL FIRE wants you to have a fire safe holiday season! An earlier estimate of 1,000 acres was revised after more accurate mapping. According to the morning Cal Fire update provided on Sept. 10, the Oak Fire is holding at 863 acres and 25 percent contained, but due to the heavy smoke, aircraft are grounded and the actual acreage is still being assessed. The cause of the Oak Fire is still under investigation. The fire is burning in the area between Third Gate Road and 1st Gate Road, along Big John Road. Oak Fire burns more than 850 acres northwest of…, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Oak Fire burns more than 850 acres northwest of Willits, Coronavirus: Another day of triple-digit deaths in California as cases reach record high, NFIP offers protection from potential mudflow losses, Map: The five California regions for coronavirus stay-at-home orders, Mendocino County Superior Court requests public comment on implementation of e-filing, CHP: Woman, toddler missing after crash in northern Mendocino County, Mendocino County officials urge residents, businesses to follow health orders, Opinion: Local heroes in Mendocino County. PG&E pleads guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter, agrees to pay $25.5B to Camp Fire victims George Floyd killing: More than 170 St. Paul businesses looted or damaged, dozens of fires set New ‘air curtain burner’ for clearing debris, vegetation tested in Paradise It burned 1,100 acres (445 ha). Our district provides fire protection and emergency medical services to the town of Willits, CA. in Potter Valley, 0% containment, 11 structures burned, evacuations ordered, 101 closed, two people burned UPDATE 1pm, 10/09/17: For updates on Tuesday, October 10, please see this article. WILLITS, Calif. (KGO) -- An active vegetation fire burning in Mendocino County is prompting evacuation orders in the Willits and Covelo areas Monday afternoon. There is still a worry that if the inversion layer lifts, the fire could spark up again and rage on. The fire resulted in the evacuation of over 3,200 people just north of the city of Willits. After a move to Mendocino in 2015, she began freelance reporting for The Willits News and stepped up as city editor in 2018. By about 2 p.m., two structures were lost and the fire was at approximately 50 acres with a potential to grow to 400. The fire that caught blaze just after noon on Sept. 7, known as the Oak Fire, burned more than 850 acres before the winds died down enough for firefighters to get a handle on it in the evening of Sept. 8. Numerous crews and air tankers from throughout the State and from other states helped suppress the Oak Fire. The fire, named the Oak Fire, has also caused Highway 101 to be shut down between the communities of Arnold and DeCamp, according to the MCSO. WILLITS, 9/7/20 — A wildfire is burning north of Brooktrails with a fast rate of spread, has burned about five acres, and is already forcing mandatory evacuations. In the meantime, due to the hazardous air quality, all Willits school are closed for the week, the transfer stations closed for a few days, and many retail stores shut their doors temporarily. Portions of Mendocino County remain under a red flag warning or a fire weather watch today, which means there is potential for high winds, with hot and dry conditions, which could mean increased fire activity. 2020 Fire Season While wildfires are a natural part of California’s landscape, the fire season in California and across the West is starting earlier and ending later each year. “The closure extends from the North Willits on-ramp to Highway 101’s intersection with State Route 162 at … A second evacuation location was also made available at Baechtel Grove Middle School in order to allow for more space due to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions. According to the most recent update, fire crews have a solid containment line around the fire and are beginning to mop up where possible. After a move to Mendocino in 2015, she began freelance reporting for The Willits News and stepped up as city editor in 2018. The fire, which began in the Mendocino National Forest on Aug. 17, has burned 471,185 acres as of Thursday morning. UPDATE: The Mendocino County sheriff expanded the area under evacuation orders and warnings Monday evening. Highway 101 remains closed just north of Willits in Mendocino County,” the statement said. Click hereto view the map. The cause is under investigation. Due to the steep, rugged terrain and densely forested area, fire personnel struggled to contain the blaze until the wind died down in the evening. Slight winds in the region will continue to wind-check smoldering sections of the fire that fire suppression personnel continue to extinguish.”. Which began in the newspaper business for about a decade work to them! Crews will continue to work towards the interior of the fire is burning in the area under evacuation and... 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