Record-breaking Mendocino Complex fires now at 290,692 acres

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Still burning actively during the night, the Ranch fire in Lake County grew another 6,000 or so acres and as of Tuesday morning the size of the Mendocino Complex fires was 290,692 acres, according to Cal Fire.

The Ranch fire dominates the two‑fire complex and now makes up 241,772 acres of the historic total. As of Monday evening, the complex had become California’s largest wildland blaze in state history.

The Ranch fire’s growth continued to the north, in the Mendocino National Forest, and east, into open land in east Lake County and into Colusa County. Several communities remain threatened by the massive blaze.

The fire has burned for 11 days and containment lines still were at 20 percent in the Ranch fire, which spreads across more than 375 square miles. At least half of that is in forestry land, with very limited access for firefighters, engines and dozers, leaving primary attack options to aircraft and firefighters on foot. Firefighters have so far concentrated on protecting the numerous towns and rural communities tucked into Lake County’s diverse landscape in the fire’s path.

Containment on the River fire grew substantially Monday and overnight and Cal Fire reported strong lines around 78 percent of that fire, which remained at about 49,000 acres.

Efforts Tuesday were planned on all areas of the Ranch fire while on the River fire, crews hoped to finish off open containment areas in the Scotts Valley area.

There are now 3,908 people on the Mendocino Complex fires, with 441 engines, 93 water tenders, and 85 dozers.

You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 707‑521-5412 or randi.rossmann@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter@rossmannreport.

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