Wednesday, December 6, 2023

[UPDATES]Mandatory Evacuations Issued as Fire Threatens Structures in Brooktrails, Northwest of Willits

FlightRadar Sept 7 Oak Fire
Screenshot from FlightRadar24.com

A new fire broke out in Brooktrails near Willits about 12:10 p.m. The fire is moving rapidly and threatening structures, according to Cal Fire. As of 12:40 p.m. it was reported to be three to five acres.

According to the scanner, deputies are moving door to door starting in the 6000 block evacuating residents in the area of Big John Road.

According to Mendocino Sports Plus, ‘At 12:33 pm, copter #101 said the fire had a potential of 25 to 50 acres… .”

UPDATE: 12:53 pm

The following NIXLE alert was sent out by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office:

UPDATE: 1:04 pm

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Scanner traffic from personnel at scene is describing the wind blowing fast contributing to a high rate of spread.

UPDATE: 1:09 pm

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office followed up the initial NIXLE alert informing the public that the fire has jumped Big John Road initiating an “EVACUATION ORDER FOR NORTH AND EAST OF BIG JOHN RD IN WILLITS.”

UPDATE: 1:13 pm

UPDATE: 1:28 pm

This photograph of the Oak Incident northwest of Willits was provided by Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall.

The Oak Incident northwest of Willits [Picture provided by Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall]

UPDATE: 1:36 pm

According to scanner traffic, an evacuation center has been established at Willits High School.

UPDATE: 1:39 pm

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According to fire personnel heard over the scanner, a 47-year-old female on Third Gate road is refusing to evacuate.

UPDATE: 1:50 pm

According to the Cal Fire incident page associated with the Oak Fire incident, the fire has burned 25 acres and is currently 0% contained.

UPDATE: 2:00pm

According to fire personnel on the ground, two structures have been lost, 50 acres are now burned, and the fire has the potential of growing to 300-400 acres.

UPDATE 2:18 pm

A newly released NIXLE alert from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has expanded mandatory evacuation boundaries: “An Mandatory evacuation for the area of Big John Rd, Skyview Rd, Third Gate Rd, and Schow Rd south to Ryan Dreek Rd. Also the area of Boogi Woogi. Evac center is being set up at the Willits High School. Use best judgement when leaving, driving away from the fire.”

UPDATE 2:27 pm

A Tweet from MCSO indicates the mandatory evacuation boundaries have been expanded: “EVACUATION ORDER – Boundaries expanded – Willits Area (#OakFire)*North boundary is Shimmins Ridge Road *East of Highway 101 – approximately 1 mile east of 101 *South to Reynolds Highway”

UPDATE: 2:44 pm

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Another view of the Oak Incident burning northwest of Willits currently sent to MendoFever by Sheriff Matt Kendall. He took this picture from Third Gate Road approximately 1/2 mile away from the fire. At this point, the fire has destroyed two structures, burned 50 acres with a potential of 300-400 acres.

The Oak Incident as seen from the Cow Mountain Fire camera
The Oak Incident as seen from the Mt. Sanel Fire camera

UPDATE: 2:51 pm

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has published the map below illustrating the mandatory evacuation orders.

UPDATE 3:01 pm

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has once again expanded the mandatory evacuation order boundaries as announced in the following NIXLE alert: “MANDATORY EVACUATION FOR SHIMMINS RIDGE RD, S TO APPLIANCE LN, INCLUDING RYAN CREEK RD.MANDATORY EVACUATION FOR SHIMMINS RIDGE RD, S TO APPLIANCE LN, INCLUDING RYAN CREEK RD.”

UPDATE: 3:09 pm

According to the Cal Fire Incident update page, the Oak Incident has grown to 50 acres. The page says “[g]round and air resources are at scene actively battling this fire. Fire is burning in a mix of grass, brush, oak and pine trees. Firefighters are working in extreme conditions; high heat, low humidity, with the potential for erratic winds. Firefighters are aggressively utilizing resources to construct containment lines & defend structures.”

UPDATE: 3:17 pm

This video was submitted to MendoFever by a reader at Safeway in Willits and portrays the Oak Incident around on 3:00 pm 9/7/2020.

UPDATE: 3:21

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office have issued new maps associated with the evacuation orders, seen below.

Fire personnel at scene are predicting 20 structures will be impacted within the hour as the fires spreads and foresee additional evacuations.

UPDATE: 3:31 pm

Personnel at scene are suggesting the progression of the fire is indicating shutting down of Highway 101 could be necessary.

UPDATE 3:33 p.m.

Dispatch is telling officers on the scene that she has a report of a trapped person in the 25400 block of Salmon Drive. The dispatch tells the office, there is one woman trapped and she cannot get out.

UPDATE 3:53 pm

UPDATE: 4:07 pm

Scanner traffic is indicating that Highway 101 is closed. We have not had that confirmed but Caltrans QuickMap shows traffic is badly impacted in multiple areas between Willits and Shimmons Ridge Road
No description available.
Screenshot of Caltrans QuickMap shows traffic is impacted in the area.

UPDATE 4:23 pm

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has once again updated Mandatory Evacuation orders via a Nixle alert:

Evacuation Order for portions of Willits. Evacuation Area consists of: Intersection of Main Street and Sherwood Road Northwest to 3rd Gate Road East to Highway 101 and Shimmins Ridge Road 1 mile east of Highway 101 South to Reynolds Highway South Sherwood Road to Main Street

UPDATE 4:37 p.m.

According to KMUD, Sheriff Kendall has confirmed that Hwy 101 is now closed. We don’t yet have the parameters but one reader said that 101 is closed south of Laytonville for southbound traffic.

UPDATE: 5:01 pm

According to an update on the Cal Fire incident page, the Oak Incident is now 1,000 acres and is 0% contained. Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall told us that several very large air tankers are working on the fire attempting to gain control.

UPDATE: 5:12 pm

Senator Mike McGuire tweeted, “Highway 101 is now closed in both directions in Mendocino County due to the #OakFire. Northbound closure: North end of the Willits Bypass. Southbound closure: Turnoff for Covelo at Route 162. No estimated time for reopening.”

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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